Bang. A Khris Middleton 50 burger. That was the defining storyline from this one, as the Bucks took apart the Washington Wizards, 151-131.
No Paris jet lag from Milwaukee to start this one. The big man that’d lead the way? Ersan Ilyasova, who netted seven of the Bucks’ first 10 points to begin. Milwaukee would continue to absolutely have their own way, knocking down shot after shot from beyond the perimeter. Within the first quarter, five different players hit from deep, the key reason which granted the Bucks a 42-28 lead.
If you thought the Bucks were rolling in the first quarter, they’d take it to another level in the second. Taking advantage of the porous Washington defense, they were hitting any shot they wanted to. Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton (who was ON FIRE for the second quarter, tallying 19 points). Milwaukee would head into the locker room having scored a franchise record 88 (!!!) points in the first half.
Milwaukee came out of halftime sleepwalking, as Washington quickly went on an 8-0 run, prompting the Bucks to keep starters in more than they’d like to. By the end of the quarter, the Wizards had chiseled away Milwaukee’s advantage to just 13 points at 117-104.
Washington continued to be pests throughout the fourth quarter. Constantly floating around the 10-point deficit, it was clear that they were not going to go away. But with a Khris Middleton that was IN THE ZONE, the Bucks would pull away and secure a 151-131 victory.
Stat That Stood Out
With Giannis Antetokounmpo out of this game due to right shoulder soreness, you knew somebody was going to step up — and you knew there was a strong chance of that being Khris Middleton. By the time the final buzzer sounded, his stat line read 51 points — a career high. He was unconscious all night long, shredding off a 7-of-10 performance from deep, including this thing of beauty:
LET IT FLY!!!!!— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 29, 2020
Watch the bench pic.twitter.com/MYG3OfXRnH
It really became apparent with Giannis off the floor just how crucial Middleton is to this Bucks team. At this point, it’s a guarantee that he’ll be making his second consecutive All-Star Game performance, and rightfully so. Get him to Chicago (not the Bulls!).