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Milwaukee vs. Brooklyn: Nets Close Out Bucks, 133-128

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D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert’s strong performances carry Brooklyn

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The anticipation for 60 wins carries onto the next game, as the Brooklyn Nets came in and defeated the Giannis-less Bucks by a score of 133-128.

The Nets would come out firing on all cylinders in this one. Early on in the first quarter, they’d hold as large as an 11 point lead. Moving onward to the second period, they situated themselves in front by eight at 34-26.

D’Angelo Russell would continue to be a nuisance for Milwaukee in the first half, totaling 18 points in the first two quarters. However, a 13-0 run led by Sterling Brown, Eric Bledsoe, and Ersan Ilyasova would push the Bucks right back into the thick of things. At halftime, the home team would trail just by a single point, 66-65.

It’d be pretty even the rest of the way, with the two teams swapping leads. However, in the end, Brooklyn would prevail. A strong finish from Jared Dudley and then a Joe Harris dagger three would be the nail in the coffin for this one.

Eric Bledsoe would end up with the top stat line for the Bucks, completing his night with a 33 point, 11 assist performance. That included a fiery 12-of-17 shooting performance and 5-of-6 from deep.

D’Angelo Russell was the main highlight reel for the Nets, tallying 25 points — 12 of which came from deep. Caris LeVert had an influential performance off the bench, contributing with 25 points.

Three Observations

Ersan really brought it last night.

Ersan Ilyasova has been reading your tweets. If there was a loose ball bouncing around the fingertips of players underneath the hoop? Ersan was there. Need a shot to stop a run? Ersan made some of those. It really seemed as if he was zooming up and down the court, plugging in wherever the Bucks needed him. His stat line may not reflect this performance as much as it seems, but it really was impactful. I mentioned it in my Rapid Recap, but there’s likely going to be a time when the Bucks are going to rely on him come the playoffs. Who else is ready for Ersan momentum shifting charges in the postseason???

The Nets would be a very fun playoff series.

I’m saying this as a basketball fan. I think the Bucks would obviously win and advance, but it’d be fun basketball. The matchups are quite intriguing. Bledsoe vs. Russell. Giannis vs. Allen (we all know that history). A sharp-shooting Joe Harris vs. Khris Middleton, who can get equally as hot from the field. Maybe it’s because I’m just sick of the Pistons and Heat, but I think it’d be quite interesting. I’ve always said that Kenny Atkinson is one of the most underrated coaches in the league, and he comes from the same system that developed Budenholzer. Sign me up for these teams to play again in just over a week.

GEORGE “AGGRESSIVE” HILL.

Prior to yesterday, George Hill had strung together consecutive 20 point performances. He didn’t cross that threshold yesterday afternoon, but he still made his presence felt. He’d only post 14 points, but again, we saw his aggressiveness shine. He continues to power his way to the hoop, imitating the penetration that Malcolm Brogdon would always bring to the court. That confidence doesn’t just apply to drives to the hole though. At one point, he was on a fast dribble and stopped on a dime, pulled up, and connected from about a foot beyond the perimeter. Absolutely love the fire that he brings to the floor, and you know it’s going to be huge come the postseason.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • For all the talk that there is about Khris Middleton and his scoring, you gotta bring up his passing too. This nifty behind-the-back pass to DJ Wilson was a thing of beauty:
  • D’Angelo Russell is a very entertaining player to watch. There was a span in the third quarter where he just took over and the Bucks had no antidote for him. I’m always a fan of good basketball, and when a player hits a deep shot with a hand in his face, I’m always here for it (of course, not if it involves my team in a win-loss scenario...now I’m thinking about Aaron Harris— TIME TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT).
  • Ah, our old friend Jared Dudley! Although he was only here a year, I’ll always cherish the time he spent in Milwaukee. Always seems like a class guy and is very knowledgeable about the game. He’s bounced around the league but it seems everywhere he goes, his teammates and fan bases accept him with open arms. Oh, and how can we forget this celebration?
  • Milwaukee allowed Brooklyn to achieve nearly a 25 percent clip in the offensive rebounding department, something that Bud definitely was not too fond of. However, I’m willing to let this slide. Why? Because the Bucks didn’t have that Giannis Antetokounmpo fella out there.
  • Last, this was by far a first:

Rock on, baby.