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Milwaukee vs. Boston: Bucks Hold Off Celtics, 128-123

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Though it was close down the stretch, Milwaukee earns the win

NBA: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that would ultimately become close down the stretch, the Bucks would earn the win against the pesky Celtics, 128-123.

Splash Mountain would get things cooking early on for Milwaukee. He’d connect on not one, not two, but three straight threes to ignite the match. The Bucks would also take advantage of a porous shooting Celtics team that only shot 1-of-11 from beyond the arc in the quarter. When the period concluded, Boston’s field goal percentage sat at 32 percent and the Bucks owned a 36-20 advantage.

That cold shooting spell for Boston? It’d continue into the second. Meanwhile, Milwaukee would keep making shot after shot after shot. Aided by Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks would shoot a red-hot 61.9 percent from the floor and 12-of-15 from deep. It’d be good enough for a massive 76-58 lead at halftime.

Boston would start to wake up in the third quarter. Right out of the gates, it was clear they had ridded themselves of the shooting skid, as they quickly sliced the Bucks’ halftime lead in half. That’d be thanks in large part to Kemba Walker, who, after being held scoreless in the first quarter, passed the 30 point mark with 8+ minutes to go in the third. However, after Boston cut it to just six points at one point, the Bucks would embark on an 19-6 run. At the end of three, Milwaukee maintained a 106-87 advantage.

Things would get far too close for comfort in the final period of play. After being up double digits most of the game, the Bucks would see their lead disintegrate to just four points at the tail end of the game. Boston would then miss a three pointer that would’ve cut the lead to just a single point, which essentially gave the Bucks the win on the night, 128-123.

Giannis Antetokounmpo would lead the way for the Bucks, finishing with 32 points. Kemba Walker wrapped up his evening with a game-high 40 points.

Three Observations

That play (by Semi Ojeleye) was suuuuuper dangerous.

You know the one I’m talking about — the one where Semi Ojeleye went down before any contact was made and a charge was called on Giannis. It earned boos from the Milwaukee crowd and rightfully so. It’s a dangerous play that puts harm in the way of the players. After the game, it was clear that there was frustration about the call and idea of players doing that. Here was Bud’s response:

Giannis was also asked about it postgame in the locker room. Here is how he responded:

It definitely is a dangerous play and hopefully moving forward, we see less of it. It’d be awful to see Giannis (or any other player) get injured due to this method.

Donte DiVincenzo continues to be special.

Another night, another career high for the product out of Villanova. Each night he’s out there, he proves his worth for the team. Lately, it’s been his offense that’s been shining. Last night, he concluded his evening with 19 points on 6-of-11 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from deep. Add in the fact that he scored a bulk of his points in the second quarter against defensive savant Marcus Smart and it’s even more impressive. Everyone from Budenholzer down to the players always attributes his willingness to get better and strong improvement out on the court. The aggressive nature and tone he brings will surely be appreciated come playoff time, both on the offensive and defensive end of the floors.

George Hill continues to play like a robot out there.

I honestly don’t believe George Hill has the word “miss” in his vocabulary. He etched yet another game where he didn’t seem to miss. All in all, he’d go 4-of-6 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from deep. He continues to be the rock that the Bucks can rely on. When Budenholzer was asked about if he thinks whether or not Hill will miss another shot, he jokingly elected not to answer so he wouldn’t jinx him. As for that 3-point shooting, how cool would it be to see him in the 3-Point Contest? Count me in for that.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • It was awesome to see Splash Mountain get back into his groove. He came out of the gates red hot, connecting on several straight threes. Budenholzer has always expressed confidence that things would turn around for Lopez, and if it really starts to, it’d be really something for this team.
  • Last night’s halftime show was my favorite one of the year...THE CHIN BALANCER! Yes, that is the name of the act and I love it. Take a look at his incredible act:

I have no clue how he does it. After the performance, I tried to balance a box of popcorn on my chin in the media room and failed miserably. Absolutely incredible.

  • Giannis would get to the free throw line 20 times. That’s enough to match his season-high. Unfortunately, he’d only connect on half of them. Definitely frustrating to see, but hopefully he turns the corner soon.
  • I’m still not a fan of those alternate Celtics jerseys. They just don’t do the trick for me. It looks...odd.
  • Khris Middleton deserves to be an All-Star and I’ll be frustrated if he’s not. It was yet another strong night from him, as he concluded with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He’d also connect on several threes. He brings so much to this team and ultimately, I think he’ll earn his due recognition.