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Milwaukee vs. Charlotte: Bucks Win Thriller, 127-125

Milwaukee’s winning streak now sits at eight games

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In an absolutely wild finish, the Milwaukee Bucks came from behind to defeat the Charlotte Hornets, 127-125.

The first quarter featured a lot of the 3-point ball, predominantly from the Hornets. They’d go 10-of-17 (58%) in the opening stanza, with strong play coming from Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, and Terry Rozier. Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 12 points in the opening quarter, but Milwaukee found themselves in a hole after one, 41-25.

Charlotte would continue to maintain their groove throughout the second quarter, playing with a fast and crisp offense. The Bucks would slice things to single digits numerous times in the period, and that’s where things stood going into the halftime break, as Charlotte maintained a 68-60 lead.

The Bucks would keep scratching and clawing their way back into this one throughout a raucous third quarter. Led by Antetokounmpo and some clutch baskets from George Hill, Milwaukee would eventually overtake Charlotte for the first time in the game. Heading into the final quarter of regulation, the Bucks held a 97-95 advantage.

Boy oh boy, what a fourth quarter that would be. In a game that went back-and-forth non-stop, the final few minutes were absolutely jam-packed with action. I’ll start with the last few possessions. Down three, LaMelo Ball would take an insane 3-pointer from the left wing and sink it falling down. That’d leave the game all tied up. On the ensuing possession, Giannis Antetokounmpo would gallup down the lane and lay-in the eventual game-winner with two seconds left. Then, Miles Bridges would attempt a 50 footer as the horn sounded, and nearly sank it. Instead, it rattled out, giving Milwaukee the thrilling 127-125 win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a game-high 40 points on 15-of-24 shooting. He’d also get 12 rebounds and finish an assist shy of a triple-double. Khris Middleton was his typical self as well, pouring in 21 points.

LaMelo Ball went ballistic for Charlotte, going off for a team high 36 points, including 12-of-22 from the field and knocking down eight 3-pointers. Kelly Oubre Jr. mixed in 25 points off the bench.

What Did We Learn?

We learned that this team is resilient.

The Bucks were down by 18 at one point in this one, but at no time, did they show any signs of panic. Rather, they stuck to their guns and did what they did the best, which is staying their course and continuing to grind things out. It took a while, but they were eventually able to get over the hump. We saw it all last year in the postseason. When the Bucks were down, they’d scratch and claw their way back into games, and this is no example. This is one of the primary ingredients that composes their championship status. This is the will and determination it takes to succeed in today’s NBA. Just a masterful job done by everyone involved.

Three Observations

LaMelo Ball is an incredible basketball player.

He’s just a joy to watch. He’s probably my favorite player in the league, honestly. The way he handles the ball, facilitates the offense...it’s dazzling. I also have him in my dynasty fantasy basketball league, so I’m quite thrilled about that. I do have to include this nasty move he pulled out on Jrue Holiday in this. Just filthy:

And that shot that he hit to tie it? Unreal. I think he’s probably my favorite player in the NBA, and last night showed just how entertaining he can be.

DeMarcus Cousins showed that he can fit right in with this team.

As we all know, last night was DeMarcus Cousins’ first game as a member of the Bucks. In 14:36 of game action, he’d tally seven points, including a 3-pointer from the corner in the second half. Everybody praised his basketball skillset in how he was able to make such a quick question. When asked about what the experience was like out there with him, Grayson Allen mentioned how they were just teaching him the plays on the fly. However, despite his unfamiliarity with the offense, he was able to use his veteran craftsmanship and do a great job of hooping. As the Bucks continue to live life without Brook Lopez on the floor, Cousins’ play is going to continue to be relied upon.

The clutch shooting from Pat Connaughton and Khris Middleton continues onward.

It’s incredible how clutch these two are in the closing moments of a game. In the postgame presser, I joked to Mike Budenholzer how I can’t remember the last time Connaughton missed a shot in the clutch, then asked him what makes him so good in those situations. He attributed it to Pat’s willingness to constantly improve in those situations and the confidence to hit those shots. Dovetailing off of that, Giannis mentioned how he has confidence in not just those two, but everyone. The shooting that this team exhibits is pretty insane, and the timeliness is even more so.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • The 3-point shooting from Charlotte in the first quarter was absolutely outrageous. It felt as if they couldn’t miss. In the end, they’d go 21-of-51 from deep.
  • I absolutely love the Hornets uniforms. The color of purple and teal may honestly be my favorite color combo in the entire league.
  • If the Bucks face the Hornets in the playoffs, sign me up. That would be an electric series. LaMelo. Giannis. Bridges. Middleton. My oh my, that would be incredible.
  • In addition to scoring the game-winner, Giannis also achieved this:
  • Last, this is fantastic from Jordan:

Obligatory “Hey, where you going with those clubs, punk?” “Mr Gilmore, I’m your caddie!” quote.