The winning streak is legal! The Bucks kept doing what they do best and dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers, 125-108. That’s 18 consecutive victories.
This one began immediately as you’d imagine it to. The Bucks quickly raced out to a big lead, thanks in large part to the combined presence of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, who mixed together 15 points in the first period. At the end of one, Milwaukee led 26-20.
Cleveland would grab their only lead of the night in the second quarter, when they went on a brief spell to momentarily claim a one-point advantage. However, that’d be the only lead they’d sniff the remainder of the night. From that point on, it was all Bucks. They’d go on a rampage to close out the second quarter and walked into the locker room up 69-51.
It wouldn’t even be worth it to really do a full deep dive of the third and fourth quarters. Instead, I’ll sum it up by saying that the Bucks dominated, because that’s pretty much what they did. The Cavs would never even come close, and Milwaukee just kept steamrolling forward. When the Fat Lady finally sung, the final score was 128-105 in favor of Milwaukee.
The MVP would lead the way for the Bucks, totaling 29 points on 12-of-20 shooting. It was a little of an off night for him in the rebounding department, as he only totaled four boards. However, his influence was still clearly felt. Khris Middleton earned a +21 RPM thanks in large part to his 24 points. Donte DiVincenzo scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
For Cleveland, Jordan Clarkson led the way off the bench with 15 points.
Donte did exceptionally well in the starting five.
Due to Eric Bledsoe’s absence, Donte DiVincenzo was called upon to fill his shoes in the starting lineup — and did quite a solid job. In 25 minutes played, he’d total 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. However, what isn’t in the stats is the hustle and overall energy that he brings forth every night. Mike Budenholzer certainly was excited in regards to his performance, as he discussed him in his postgame presser:
“Yeah, I thought he was great tonight. So I think him kind of sliding in with the starters, just you know as we looked at it, kind of made sense. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Khris [Middleton] are just so steady, and they can have the ball in their hands a lot too. To play [DiVincenzo] out there in the point guard-type spot with all the guys who can handle a lot, and I put as much pressure on him. I let George [Hill] kind of organize the second group and he’s playing so good. Donte, tonight, he really was aggressive and confident. it’s just great to see him play the way he did.”
Expect Donte to get more runs moving forward, as after the game, Bucks PR notified us that Eric Bledsoe underwent an MRI and is expected to miss two weeks with a right fibula avulsion fracture. So far this season, everybody’s stepped up when time has been missed by players. Donte’s already made hefty contributions when Middleton was sidelined, and now he’ll have to do the same with Bled out.
Khris Middleton was FEELING it last night.
Midds was definitely on one yesterday. Right out of the gates, you could tell he was in the zone. He’d end up etching 24 points on 8-of-12 field goals (including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc). It wasn’t just the scoring where he made an impact, either. He also dished out a game-high six assists. Going back to scoring, he’s now scored 20+ points in a season-long four consecutive games. Oh, he also had a nifty dunk where he went off two feet and threw down a one-handed slam. However, Donte also had an impressive throw down as well. In Giannis’ postgame availability, I asked him which one he thought was the winner:
I asked Giannis who he thought had the better dunk between Khris and Donte tonight. He said Donte before I could even finish the question.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 15, 2019
That wasn’t all Giannis had to say:
.@eric_nehm then followed up asking if he's ever seen Khris go up off two and punch it in with one.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 15, 2019
Giannis: Actually, I've seen it in like, you know, the summer, when he's had fresh legs...not in the season." https://t.co/XzUUG7qKaE
This team is so goofy.
I still cannot believe that Brook Lopez got beat in the Star Wars characters competition.
This was so impressive that I had to use it as the Stat That Stood Out in the Rapid Recap for this game. I’m still in disbelief. So, every game, the Bucks have a Half Minute to Win It competition where a fan competes with a Bucks player to name as many things from a variety of categories in 30 seconds, Since last night was Star Wars Night, the category was Star Wars characters. The Bucks player was Brook Lopez. Normally, this would be totally unfair, but Brook met his ultimate competition:
A fan just named more Star Wars characters in 30 seconds than Brook Lopez. The fan had 36, Brook had 26. Upset of the century.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 15, 2019
This is right up there with David vs. Goliath, folks. An absolute thrilling upset we’ll be telling generations to come.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- The Bucks have now extended the second-longest winning streak in franchise history to 18 games with last night’s win. This is now the first 18-game winning streak in the NBA since the Warriors won 28 games from 4/19/15 - 12/11/15 and is tied for the 11th-longest winning streak in league history.
- The home cooking continues. Milwaukee’s home winning streak is now at 13 games, marking the first since the end of the 1989-90 and start of the 1990-91 season (20 games, 4/10 - 1/18) that it has won 13 consecutive games at home.
- At 24-3, this is the best start in franchise history through the first 27 games of season. In the past ten seasons, only Golden State in 2015-16 (26-1) and the Spurs in 2010-11 (24-3) have started a season 24-3 or better.
- Robin Lopez isn’t just participating in WWE skits in the tunnel pre-game, folks. He had a solid outing last night, scoring a season-high 16 points and hauling in a season-high tying six rebounds. That marks his third double-figure scoring game of the season.
- Last, Ersan continues to make his presence felt. After scoring 11 points yesterday, he’s now scored in double figures in each of his last five games. This is the first time since the 2017-18 season he’s has done that.