With a back-to-back imminent, it always helps to get that first win out of the way on the front end. The Milwaukee Bucks did just that in a workmanlike victory over the Sacramento Kings, 127-106. The Kings looked like they might run circles around Milwaukee in the opening minutes, but the Bucks busted into a run of their own to burst into a 34-18 first quarter advantage. Sacramento made a late push in the second quarter though, cutting the Bucks advantage to just 53-44. The triples started falling like a hailstorm in the third for Milwaukee as they staked a 90-75 advantage. Bud went to a super-small lineup late in the fourth that helped put the Kings away once and for all.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t Giannis Antetokounmpo’s night as he fought through his persistent back soreness to still take the court. He ended the evening with just 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on only nine shot attempts. He may be in line for a chance to take a load off tomorrow evening against the Portland Trailblazers.
Khris Middleton’s slump came to a screeching halt in this game, rifling in a piping-hot performance on 9-12 shooting for 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists on the night. Eric Bledsoe found his rhythm tunneling to the tin too, putting forth 24 points in this winning effort. Sterling Brown entered the game in the third and boosted a somewhat stale Bucks team like a shot in the arm. His 11 points and 12 rebounds was made all the more impressive by his meager 18 minutes played. Donte DiVincenzo broke his cold spell from deep with a 4-6 game to end at 18 points.
Sacramento didn’t have any standout scorers for this game, with a balanced attack across all the starters. Every one of them hit double figures, with Harrison Barnes and De’Aaron Fox each ending with 19 points apiece. Buddy Hield added 16 points as well.
Stat that Stood Out
It’s not often you see Giannis Antetokounmpo finishing with the worst +/- out of anyone on the Bucks roster, but that’s what we got tonight with his -8 game. That means nothing in and of itself, but the more important point is looking at Sacramento’s players, where three of their bench players, Ariza, Dedmon and Joseph, finished at -17, -27 and -25. The Bucks bench was ready and willing to dominate when called upon, and they outscored their Kings pine-riding compatriots, 53-30.