It wasn’t easy, but the Milwaukee Bucks were able to win their fourth-consecutive game with a 129-124 nail-biter over the Los Angeles Clippers. Even though the Clippers were without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, they still gave the Bucks all they can handle. For those who stayed up late to watch, this game was certainly a treat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo got off to a sluggish start, but put that behind him in the second half and thoroughly dominated the Clippers. He dropped 38 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and blocked two shots in 36 minutes. He also matched a career-high by making four three-pointers, and the lift on his outside jumper was much improved. It looked like a reliable jumper. He also converted on 14-of-18 shots from the foul line, and the added arch he has put on his touch has certainly made a difference in the last two games. Overall, Giannis sank 10-of-21 shots from the floor after what looked like it would be a sluggish game against a scrappy defense. He simply refuses to lose.
In the first half when the Bucks were struggling to maintain their lead, George Hill came to the rescue. He and Clippers guard Lou Williams even got into a personal three-point contest in the second quarter with each trying to one-up each other. Whenever the Bucks needed a big shot, Hill answered the call and scored a season-high 24 points while draining 6-of-7 three-pointers. He outscored Los Angeles’ second unit by himself and added a nasty two-handed put-back slam for good measure. Not bad, for an old man ;) He also took a scary shot to the left eye late in the fourth and the area where he got hit immediately swelled up. I am no doctor, but it did not look too encouraging.
I would love what Eric Bledsoe is having for breakfast. Once again, he came out of the gates aggressive, this time against his former employer. As good as he was offensively hitting shots and collapsing the defense, I thought he did a great job at defending Lou Williams. That is no easy task. It was another encouraging performance for the point guard who scored 20 points and made four three-pointers. He did have a few careless turnovers but mostly made a positive impact on the floor against Los Angeles. We saw him get off to a blazing hot start at the beginning of last season, and he’s doing it again thus far. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this Bucks team goes as Bledsoe goes.
- Oof, it was a horrendous game for Khris Middleton who was constantly being harassed by Patrick Beverly defensively. In 33 minutes, he scored 13 points on 13 shot attempts. It certainly was a game to forget, but it is encouraging that the Bucks were able to eke out a win with Middleton having played so poorly.
- I am not sure why Robin Lopez continues to see early minutes for the Bucks. Whenever he was on the floor the Clippers went right at him and he provided little to no resistance. The early return on his offseason signing has not been great, to say the least.
- Wesley Matthews went scoreless in 18 minutes and is still finding his footing on this Bucks team. I am far more confident in him breaking out of his slump than I am with RoLo.
- The Bucks sank 18 three-pointers, which will certainly get the job done.