With a 106-97 road win over the Indiana Pacers last night, the Milwaukee Bucks have won 8 of their last 9 games and are 20-9 on the road this season. They had 19 wins on the road all of last season. We haven’t even hit the All-Star break yet. It looked like the Pacers put the Bucks away when they held an 86-76 lead, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks had other plans. A 30-18 4th quarter is all Milwaukee needed to secure their 7th straight road victory. Here are three Bucks who made their mark on Wednesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo put the Pacers to bed.
He scored 12 points the last time these two teams met up in Indiana, but after the first quarter buzzer sounded, he had already eclipsed that number. This is a team that Giannis has struggled against in the past, but he was razor sharp from the opening tip to the final buzzer. He ended with an MVP-like 33 points, 19 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, and one block in 38 minutes. He converted on 12-of-22 shots and kept finding easy ways to slice through the Pacers’ defense for simple buckets at the rim. The 11 assists are certainly eye-popping, as the Greek Freak continued to dish out dimes to various teammates throughout the game. None bigger than a beautiful no-look laser to a camping Ersan Ilyasova for an easy layup in the 4th quarter. It doesn’t matter if he’s scoring, rebounding, facilitating, or defending, Giannis just makes winning plays. Last night was as dominant as he’s been in a game all season.
For the second consecutive game, the Turkish Thunder has come off the Bucks bench to make an impact on both ends of the court. He scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and knocked down 2-of-3 three-pointers. It’s no secret that he’s not been the same since he broke his nose, but the last two games have been very promising. As per usual, he drew a few charges and could’ve added more to his total if it wasn’t for some questionable officiating down the stretch. Ersan Ilyasova finished plus-18 in 23 minutes played, and it looks like he’s finally got his groove back. Is he the best charge-taker of all time?
A George Hill sighting!
In 19 minutes off the bench, the veteran point guard finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Perhaps he was motivated by playing his former team, but Hill looked as spry as ever last night. He did most of his damage as a ball handler by coming off screens and attacking the basket. He did manage to pull down four rebounds, and even though his stat line won’t jump off the screen, he certainly made an impact for Milwaukee yesterday. His long arms make him such a pest on the defensive end, and aside from him and Ersan, who knows how this game would have turned out? He’s absolutely a guy who will help the Milwaukee Bucks come playoff time.
- It was a struggle for Khris Middleton who finished with 15 points (5-of-16 FG), 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Despite the off shooting performance, he hit a crucial three ball that put the Bucks up five points late in the game and they never looked back. He’s still been able to contribute when his shot isn’t falling, and last night was no different. He still finished plus-13.
- Brook Lopez was quiet with 9 points and 6 rebounds but continues to provide the Bucks with excellent floor spacing.
- Malcolm Brogdon chipped in with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and continues to fly under the radar. I wonder which team will back up the Brinks truck for him?
- Despite making only 9-of-31 three-pointers, the Bucks still managed to grind out a win against the second stingiest defense in the league.