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Milwaukee vs. Boston: Bucks Survive against Celtics, 121-119

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Milwaukee has now won 13 of their last 14 games

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NBA: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was one way to win it. The Bucks would survive a comeback attempt from the Boston Celtics and walk away with a 121-119 victory.

If you thought the Bucks had cooled off after their hot shooting display vs. Indiana ,you were incorrect. To start things off, Milwaukee sank several threes. Brook Lopez would also continue to stay hot, quickly putting up nine points. It’d help Milwaukee land a 35-30 advantage after one.

The Bucks would continue to exhibit dominance throughout the second quarter, frequently holding a double-digit advantage. A large part of that would continue to be their 3-point shooting, an area where seemingly everybody who took the floor chipped in. Khris Middleton would tally 15 points int he first half, which would help the Bucks carry a 70-59 lead into the locker room. The crazy part? Giannis would only have four points.

A 9-0 run by the Bucks would start the third quarter, padding their halftime lead even more. But then a 13-3 Boston run would slice the deficit, putting Milwaukee’s advantage in danger of being cut to single digits. Going into the final quarter of regulation, the Bucks owned a 100-86 advantage.

Boston would finally be within single digits come the 4:51 mark of the 4th, when they sliced the Milwaukee lead to eight points. They’d get even closer in the waning minutes of the game, and have an opportunity to win it off an in-bounds pass with a second remaining. Daniel Theis would be served a golden opportunity to sink a game-winning three from the corner, but it rimmed out and the Bucks escaped with a 121-119 victory.

What was going through Giannis’ head during that moment?

For Milwaukee, Khris Middleton led the way with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Bobby Portis provided a massive spark off the bench with 21 points.

Jaylen Brown was the leading scorer for Boston with 24 points.

What Did We Learn?

We learned, for the second night in a row, that the Bucks can be effective without Giannis. It wouldn’t be until the fourth quarter where he’d pass the double-digit plateau but the Bucks had mounted a massive lead without him. It was done in large part thanks to solid contributions from other starters — two being Khris Middleton (27 points), Brook Lopez (17 points), and Donte DiVincenzo (17 points as well). Bobby Portis would also come off the bench and rattle off 21 points. It was comforting to see Milwaukee put up such positive scoring while not relying entirely on their superstar.

Three Observations

Another game vs. the Celtics, another impressive outing from Khris Middleton.

This pretty much sums my viewpoint on this matter:

I mean, it’s pretty incredible. Middleton would continue his ferocious run vs. Boston, exploding for a game-high 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting. I don’t know what it is, but it really feels as if he has these games circled on his calendar. This goes back to the first playoff meeting between these two teams. It was imperative that Khris continued his hot streak vs. Boston, as it was quite evident that Giannis wasn’t his usual self. It’ll be intriguing to see if Middleton can replicate this performance on Friday night.

Bobby Portis put forth another strong outing.

So many times this season, we’ve highlighted Bobby Portis in these write-ups — and for solid reasons too. He never misses a beat when he’s out on the floor and last night, he made his presence felt once again. He’d go off for 21 points on an impressive 7-of-10 shooting, which played an impactful role in the Bucks owning such a large advantage early on in this one. When Bobby is cooking, so are the Bucks. That really does seem to be the trend this season, and it’s great to have players step up like him when the Bucks need him to.

Brook Lopez continues to roll.

Coming into this one, Brook Lopez was riding a season-long double-figure scoring streak of 11 games. Right out of the gates, he’d explode for nine points, all of which really assisted Milwaukee leaping out in front. It’d take a little longer for him to finally get into double-digit land, but alas, he did. In fact, he’d finish with 17 points on the evening, capping off another strong showing. This is the longest double-digit figure scoring streak since the 2017-2018 season when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • We’ve been talking a lot about Donte DiVincenzo and what he brings to this team in terms of his defense and whatnot, but last night, his shooting was on display. He’d connect on five threes (he went 5-of-6 from downtown) and make his presence felt with 17 points. If he continues to shine like that on the offensive side of the ball, the Bucks become even more difficult to defeat.
  • The level of impact that PJ Tucker had was quite noticeable last night. Numerous times, he’d get switched onto Tatum or Brown, and he made life tough for them. Right off the bat, he’s making his presence felt on this squad and it’s already paying dividends.
  • At times, the Bucks did seem to be flustered by Boston. They’d finish with 16 turnovers on the evening. Look for Bud to preach an improvement on that number for Friday’s game.
  • Late in the game, it was clear that Jrue Holiday had done something. In his postgame presser, Bud mentioned how this came from him banging knees with Jaylen Brown. Holiday then told Bud that he was good to go.
  • The Antetokounbros continue to shine together:

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