It certainly wasn’t pretty, and it rarely is in battles of former colleague coaches, but the Milwaukee Bucks ultimately prevailed over a hot-shooting Memphis Grizzlies team, 127-114. Milwaukee came out looking a little sluggish from the tip, but still controlled the first period and took a 35-29 advantage into the second. The Bucks were in danger of heading into halftime trailing, but a Lillard-level deep triple from George Hill made it 64-62 Milwaukee. It took an unconscious shooting period from Memphis for them to take a 95-90 lead after three. The Grizzlies shouldn’t have made Giannis quite so upset while he was on the bench for much of the third though, for he returned and put the game well out of reach.
Despite all the comeback excitement to extend the streak, there will still be some hand-wringing among Bucks fans as we await to hear how Eric Bledsoe is faring after leaving the game from a collision with Wesley Matthews. They reported it as a right shin contusion on the broadcast.
Giannis Antetokounmpo battled foul trouble the entire evening, but used what time he had on the court to log a 37 points and 11 rebounds. His primary assistant in the scoring lab was Khris Middleton, who was feeling it for most of the evening and tabbed 26 points with an ugly six turnovers. Eric Bledsoe hit double digits (12) before he left the contest and Brook Lopez added 10.
Jaren Jackson Jr. was by far the standout for the Grizzlies with Ja Morant out, losing his mind in the third to finish with 43 points. Dillon Brooks added 19 points on just 6-17 shooting on the night. Jae Crowder was quite quiet, but posted a more solid than it seemed 15 points, 11 boards and four assists.
Stat that Stood Out
Milwaukee more than doubling up Memphis in the paint (54-26) was a massive advantage, but just as important was the Bucks going 28-33 (84.8%) from the free throw line. On a night when the Grizzlies were feeling it from outside, 19-48, they had plenty of momentum rolling, but the Bucks free throw trips provided much-needed breaks in the action and they delivered while there. Giannis going 10-13 was massive.