On a chilly Monday night in Milwaukee, the Bucks would have no trouble with the Orlando Magic for the second game in a row, taking care of them by a score of 123-92.
The Bucks would waste no time getting things started in this one. Right out of the gates, they rattled off a 15-0 run. They also took advantage of a slew of Orlando turnovers. Khris Middleton got things cooking with nine points in the opening 12 minutes, and would help Milwaukee take a 36-16 lead into the second quarter.
The blowout would continue throughout the second. Orlando was clearly becoming more and more frustrated, as they kept getting called for technical fouls. However, their frustration was something that Milwaukee continued to take advantage of, pouring more and more baskets into the hoop. At halftime, the Bucks owned a massive 77-36 lead. That would be the largest halftime lead in franchise history.
There was no chance that the Bucks would let off the pedal in the third. Instead, they kept their massive lead throughout the period. Going into the final quarter of regulation, they groomed a 105-56 lead. From that point on, it was just a formality. The Bucks would put the final touches on a lopsided 123-92 victory.
Jrue Holiday finished as the leading scorer for Milwaukee, going 8-of-14 from the floor for 18 points. Mo Wagner also finished with 18 points on the night for Orlando. He was their leading scorer.
What Did We Learn?
We learned that this team is getting in a groove.
Everybody knew how the Bucks were dealing with injuries to start the year. It was no secret. As media pundits started to create drama surrounding that fact, the Bucks were keeping their cool. Now that players are coming back, this team is starting to show what they’re capable of. Sure, last night’s win came against the lowly Magic. However, it was still a win, and the team’s fourth consecutive one. As the team gets healthier, they’re just going to get tougher and tougher to combat.
The dial is being turnt up on the defensive end.
The defense was on full display last night, and now has been in the last few games. Milwaukee’s defense stifled Orlando for 15 turnovers and was a large reason as to why they took such a large lead to begin this one. In that 15-0 run, three turnovers were produced and taken advantage of. In his postgame availability, Mike Budenholzer and Bobby Portis both chatted about how the energy that players bring on defense can be contagious — and that’s exactly what has been happening in the recent stretch of games. The Bucks will look to keep the momentum going on Wednesday night against Detroit.
Consistent scoring was a theme in this one.
Looking up the box score in this one, there’s one big pattern — every player scored for the Bucks. From Giannis Antetokounmpo to Georgios Kalaitzakis, everybody had their fingerprints on this one. Any time you can get versatile scoring in the NBA is always massive, and last night was another example of that. Sure, it was against the Magic in a blowout. However, that was still something that will be appreciated and will be something that Milwaukee looks to replicate in upcoming games.
Bobby Portis just keeps on producing.
Coming into last night, Bobby Portis had scored double digits in eight straight games, which was his longest double-figure scoring streak as a Buck. That streak would go to nine, as he etched out 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. With Brook Lopez still out, Portis continues to take his spot in the starting five — and he continues to produce. The energy that he brings night in and night out is truly one of a kind, and the impact he has on this team is simply undeniable.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- This game featured another Khris Middleton dunk:
- Last night featured the largest halftime lead in franchise history. That just speaks to how dominant Milwaukee was in this one.
- Shoutout to Pat Connaughton. Man, does that guy keep scoring. He’d come off the bench with another major spark, rattling off 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He just keeps being an impact and never seems to miss a beat. In his postgame availability, he mentioned how just important his day-to-day routine is to the success he’s seeing. He’ll look to continue that strong level of play Wednesday night against the Pistons.
- What’s everybody’s thoughts on pinstripe basketball jerseys? It seems like the Magic have had them forever. Personally, I’d be down for a little bit of re-branding from them. Thoughts?
- Last, this was just nasty: