Facing off for the second time in as many nights, the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards did battle with more complete rosters as Bradley Beal and Dāvis Bertāns returned for Washington. Milwaukee had to thwart a late-game comeback attempt, but that allowed Giannis Antetokounmpo to notch another triple-double as the Bucks prevailed 133-122 for their 9th victory in their last 10 games.
The Bucks were largely in control in the first quarter, leading 32-23 despite 6 turnovers heading into the second. Highly suspect interior “defense” from Washington meant Milwaukee feasted on entry passes and easy penetration to the rim building a 14 point lead at the half, thanks to 12 points from Khris Middleton in the period.
In the third the Bucks led by 23 at one point, which Washington cut to 11 behind 16 points from Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer. The Bucks still led by 16 entering the fourth, but they got a bit too complacent with 10 minutes left. A 14-2 Wizards run twice cut the Bucks’ lead to 5, so Giannis checked back in at the 7:33 mark. He would soon score 8 straight for Milwaukee, feasting on Rui Hachimura as he put up his third consecutive triple-double to cap off an 11 point win: 35 points (12/19 overall and a perfect 6/6 at the line), 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. Giannis is the first Buck in franchise history to have three consecutive triple-doubles.
Bradley Beal had a game-high 37 in the loss, accompanied by another strong effort from Hachimura (22 points) and a less-pesky Russell Westbrook (23 points, 17 assists). Khris Middleton put up 23 and Brook Lopez had 22 in support of the Greak Freak.
Stat That Stood Out
15-2: that was the edge in second-chance points in favor of Milwaukee tonight. The Bucks had ample opportunities at the rim as they routinely sliced around the Wizards in the paint, but whenever the shots didn’t fall, they managed to clean them up. Of their 9 offensive rebounds, the Bucks put the ball through the hoop immediately after 7 of them. Meanwhile, the Wizards converted only one such opportunity.