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Milwaukee vs. Golden State: Bucks Blast Warriors, 118-99

The Greek Freak notches his 28th triple-double of his career

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

No Jrue Holiday? No problem for the Bucks, as Milwaukee rode a triple-double from Giannis Antetokounmpo and took care of the visiting Golden State Warriors with ease, 118-99.

The Bucks wasted no time getting the wheels started in this one. They’d immediately open things up to a double-digit lead, led by a quick burst from Giannis Antetokounmpo. He and Khris Middleton would be throwing the most punches in the period, with both of them scoring 11 points apiece. After the end of one, the Bucks were holding a significant 37-21 advantage.

The shellacking would continue in the second quarter. Golden State simply showed no answer in defending Antetokounmpo, who simply scored at will on the Warrior defense. After going off for 11 points in the first quarter, he’d score double-digits once again, making it 23 points scored at half. Bobby Portis would cap off the strong half for Milwaukee with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer, which provided the Bucks with a 77-38 halftime lead.

The Bucks would continue to keep Golden State at bay (get it...because of the Bay Area?) in the third quarter, with Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Portis filling up the stat sheet. The Warriors simply couldn’t make any dent in the Bucks’ lead and going into the final quarter of regulation, Milwaukee led 97-72.

Things wouldn’t change at all in the fourth quarter. It was just a formality at that point. The only thing separating the Bucks from victory were the 12 minutes, and once those came and went, Milwaukee left with a 118-99 win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was the highlight for the Bucks. Not only would he post a game-high 30 points, he’d also register a triple-double with 12 rebounds and 11 assists. That was his 28th career triple-double. Khris Middleton poured in 23 points (which included 5-of-7 from deep), and Bobby Portis aided the effort with 20 points of his own.

The Bucks will now face the Toronto Raptors at Fiserv Forum on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CST.

Three Observations

Milwaukee played spectacular defense on Steph Curry.

Whenever you’re going up against a player like Steph Curry, you’re always anticipating a strong offensive display. However, last night, that wasn’t the case. Curry is arguably the leading MVP candidate at this point in the season, but that wasn’t evident against the Bucks. In just over 29 minutes played, he’d score just 12 points on an ugly 4-of-11 shooting performance. It was a masterful job by everybody on the Bucks in containing him, and Bud heaped praised on everyone that was involved in his postgame presser:

Yeah, I think the whole group — I mean it’s hard to put in words how great of a player he is and generational, change the game...and you end up having five guys locked in, ready to try and make it hard for him. Obviously, Wes gets the kind of beginning and then you have four people just tracking him everywhere he goes the whole time and it just takes that kind of effort vs. a player like Curry.”

What can you say about Giannis?

I mean, the effort that he puts in night in and night out is insanity — but we all knew that. Last night was just another example. He’d explode for a triple-double (his 28th of his career), riding a loud stat line of 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. He showed no signs of slowing down, despite the Bucks building up a massive lead at points. A prime example was when he raced up the floor and dished it out to Bobby to close the half. That really shows just how committed of a player he is, and Bud discussed that in his presser as well:

“It’s those kinds of plays...I think it’s just the right play, it’s competing every second, it’s competing for every opportunity. If you gotta shoot it from three-quarters court and give yourself a chance, if you got a chance to kick it up ahead for a 30, 35-footer, whatever it was that Bobby shot, I think it’s just him trying to squeeze every bit that he can out of the game. That’s how he plays and that’s what we need.”

It’s impressive how the Bucks were able to earn this W with ease.

Okay, yes, I know the Warriors were without Draymond Green. However, the Bucks were without Jrue Holiday. Despite lacking his stellar defense, Milwaukee was still able to put the defensive clamps on Steph Curry. It was such a stellar effort up and down the stat sheet, and once again, it proves the Bucks’ depth. Sure, they lost a few games that they were expected to win, but I feel that is voided following a performance like this. Just a stellar outing from everyone wearing a white uniform last night.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Khris Middleton also had a solid outing, as he wrapped up his evening with 23 points on a crafty 5-of-7 shooting from deep. Tonight was just another example of just how deadly the Bucks can be when multiple members of their big three are feeling it.
  • The game was pretty much over at halftime:
  • One of my favorite parts about covering Bucks games in person is the ability to have court access prior to the games. Last night, I was able to watch Klay do his thing:
  • Grayson Allen recently came back from the health and safety protocol. Prior to that, he was dealing with the flu. He’s said that this is his first time really feeling healthy in a long time. He put forth a solid outing, connecting on several 3-pointers and rattling off 15 points. His shooting is so crucial for the Bucks and can really take them a long way if he’s on.
  • Last night was also the first game back from Mike Budenholzer, as he returned from the health and safety protocol. Giannis was asked about what it was like to have his coach back:

He then joked that Bud would be mad.

  • This is some exclusive company for Giannis:
  • Last, I mean, how can you defend this?