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Milwaukee vs. Chicago: Bucks Fend Off Bulls

The Bucks had to work for their 42nd win of the season.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It’s February 12th, 2019 and the Milwaukee Bucks have yet to lose consecutive games. A 122-99 road victory over the Chicago Bulls marked the start of a new winning streak for the Bucks. Here are three observations from the I-91 battle.

The pesky Bulls would not go away quietly.

Whenever the Bucks would stretch their lead to double-digits, Chicago would answer with some quick scores and defensive stops. Next thing you know, it was a 6-point game. However, Giannis Antetkounmpo made sure the Bucks would leave the United Center with a win. He added 29 points, 17 rebounds, and 8 assists while shooting an efficient 9-of-13 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep. Like every other team in the NBA, the Bulls simply had no one who could match up to Antetokounmpo defensively. They “tried” to make life difficult for him, but he found a multitude of ways to impact the game. Even though he committed 6 turnovers, I loved how he was actively looking for his teammates in the corner or slashing to the basket.

Malcolm Brogdon turned in another solid performance.

The President chipped in with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in 31 turnover-less minutes. He made 3-of-5 shots from three-point range and connected on 5-of-9 shots from the floor. He did uncharacteristically miss a few open perimeter jump shots, but it’s hard to complain about the way he performed against the Bulls on Monday night. Brogdon finished second on the Bucks with plus-17, and continues to prove his value to this Bucks team. Sure, he’s not perfect, but he’s been the Bucks’ most consistent player outside of Giannis.

The Bucks played sloppy basketball for the majority of the first half.

The second half was much steadier for the Bucks, but they still committed 17 turnovers last night. A multitude of these turnovers were unforced errors including Eric Bledsoe dribbling out of bounds, and Khris Middleton driving recklessly to the basket and throwing the ball into the hands of the Bulls. What’s even more eye-popping is the fact that they handed out only 24 assists. The Bucks have been stingy with turning the ball over this season, so I’m sure head coach Mike Budenholzer won’t be happy with 24 assists and 17 turnovers. The Bucks are fortunate to have won while committing a handful of careless mistakes.

Bonus Bucks

  • Khris Middleton hit some big jumpers in the fourth to help propel the Bucks to victory. He finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 33 minutes.
  • Brook Lopez “lost” the battle against his brother Sideshow Bob Robin Lopez. Brook scored only 7 points but did swat three shots. Robin on the other hand scored 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
  • Eric Bledsoe added 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. He knocked down 3-of-6 three-pointers last night and his shot from deep has really improved over the last week. That’ll do.
  • The Bucks shot 47.5% from the field and 31.6% from deep (12-of-38).