With a 118-115 victory, the Milwaukee Bucks’ season continues, thanks to strong play from Khris Middleton.
Right out of the gates, it was another tough going for the Bucks. It’d be until around the 8:00 mark that a Buck other than Giannis Antetokounmpo would score, emphasizing Miami’s successful defensive efforts. Unfortunately, the Greek Freak was the only one who really contributed, tallying his first quarter with 13 points. Coupled with poor perimeter shooting, the Bucks saw themselves down nine at the end of one.
Giannis Antetokounmpo would tweak his right ankle again. He’d do so on a drive to the basket. After shooting the two free throws, he’d be removed from the game and be evaluated. Milwaukee would actually grab a brief lead during this timeframe after shooting 47 percent in the quarter. Heading into the locker room, the Bucks clung to a 50-48 advantage.
During halftime, Antetokounmpo would be ruled out of the remainder of the game. Despite this, the Bucks would keep things close throughout the period. Khris Middleton really came to life, exploding for 20+ points in the period. Heading into the fourth, the Bucks found themselves down by a pair of points, 88-86.
A 12-0 run in the 4th by Milwaukee (eight of which would come from Brook Lopez) would net them a 104-100 lead with just under four minutes left. A Tyler Herro 3-pointer would give the Heat the lead by a single point with just under a minute left. Donte DiVincenzo would then be sent to the line with the opportunity to take the lead but split the pair. Goran Dragic would then miss a 3-point opportunity from the corner and miss, sending the game into overtime.
Middleton would continue to be the Bucks’ go-to in OT. Whenever Milwaukee needed something to happen, he was the one to go to. His jumper at the 1:25 mark put Milwaukee in front. Brook Lopez would then be fouled on a desperation heave, and connect on both free throws. After Khris Middleton and Tyler Herro would keep trading 3-point buckets, Khris Middleton iced things with a pair of free throws. The Bucks would then close things out and continue their season with a 118-115 victory.
Stat That Stood Out
Khris Middleton really came to help the Bucks when they needed him. When Giannis Antetokounmpo went out and wouldn’t return with a right ankle sprain, Milwaukee was in dire need of somebody to step up, and that’s exactly what K-Midd did. His valiant effort in the third quarter where he dropped 23 points helped set the tone for the Bucks that showed that they can in fact win without Antetokounmpo. That three over Herro to close it out? Just wow. He’d continue the leadership throughout the fourth and helped pace Milwaukee to the finish line and avoid the sweep with his 36 point, eight rebound, and eight assist performance.