The Milwaukee Bucks penchant for winning in multiple ways continued tonight, as they fended off a near franchise-record night for the Dallas Mavericks from deep to win handily, 122-107. Milwaukee vaulted to a quick 8-0 nothing lead in the early stages of the first, but the Mavericks rebounded to make it a tie game, 29-29, after one. At halftime, the Bucks took a 64-51 lead with a decisive advantage in the paint, 44-16, through the first two quarters. Dallas went on a scoring spree in the third to slash the Bucks’ lead down to 94-86 heading into the fourth. Luka Doncic did his best to keep the Mavs in it with some shotmaking, but the Bucks were too good. To win by 15 when the opponent makes 22 triples and you hit just 27.8% of your own, that’s special.
Giannis Antetokounmpo found whatever he wanted tonight going to the rack, where Dallas’ backline defense offered little protection from his pummeling throw-downs. He ended the evening with 29 points, 17 rebounds and five assists.
With Khris Middleton out to rest, Malcolm Brogdon put forth a controlled, efficient 9-14 shooting night to finish with 18 points. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 18 and Brook Lopez had 20 too. Oh, and Trey Duval had his first chance to play in a Bucks uniform, as Mike Budenholzer subbed him in for the final minute or so and he even hit a layup before recovering on the defensive end for a near crazy block that got called back for goaltending. Oh, he finished it with a behind-the-back assist to Ersan Ilyasova.
Dallas had a really peculiar scoring night, with two of their bench players as some of their highest scorers in Trey Burke (18) and Dwight Powell (12). Luke Doncic was far less effective tonight than the first matchup, and while he hit 20 points with some fourth quarter points, he didn’t stuff the box score across the board.
Stat that Stood Out
On a night when the Dallas Mavericks eclipsed their franchise record for made triples (23), the Bucks merely set up residence inside the paint and gave no quarter to the Mavs on the defensive end inside. The Bucks outscored the Mavs from the painted area 80-26. What’s crazy is the fact Dallas nearly shot better from three (22-53; 41.5%) than overall from the field (36-87; 41.9%). Only three other teams this season have had a game with at least 20 made 3-pointers and less than 15 2-pointers. What a wacko night for the Mavs, but kudos to the Bucks for taking this one easily.