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Milwaukee vs. Brooklyn: Bucks Soar Past Nets, 110-99

Antetokounmpo takes over the second half and secures the win for Milwaukee

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

What a classic Giannis game (or “vintage,” as Bud would describe it as in his presser). The Bucks would come roaring from behind, thanks to the 43 points from Antetokounmpo and secured a 110-99 victory Wednesday night over the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

I’m kicking this off with a little bit of housekeeping (which I’ve copied from the Rapid Recap). If you want to go directly to the game coverage, just skip this next paragraph.

First off, this game marked my seventh year of Milwaukee Bucks coverage. I started off as the Sports Editor at the student-run UWM Post and am fortunate to still have the opportunity to cover games with Brew Hoop (this is a part-time job, not my day-to-day). Thank you so much to everyone who continues to read not just my stuff, but everybody else’s on the site! We have a very talented group of writers. If you’re so inclined to give me a follow on Twitter, you can find me @Stoltzy3.

Now let’s get into the action.

The first quarter started with both teams feeling each other out. The Bucks’ defense aided them being disruptive, but they didn’t immediately utilize that advantage. Midway through the quarter, they started to find a bit of a groove. Giannis led the way with eight first quarter points to give Milwaukee a 25-20 lead after one.

The Bucks would start to lose steam throughout the second, leaving the door open for Brooklyn. The main reason behind it? Milwaukee’s 3-point shooting. Following a Watanabe 3-pointer late in the quarter, Brooklyn would take their largest lead of the night (at that point). The Nets would carry a 55-33 lead into the locker room.

After having just nine points in the first half, Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied nine points in the opening few minutes of the third. The level of aggressiveness that he exhibited is what catapulted Milwaukee right back into the thick of things, despite their stagnant offensive play in the first half.

That same level of dominance bled into the fourth. Whatever Giannis wanted, he got — with ease. The Nets had no answer for him and he took things over. It fueled the Bucks to a 110-99 victory and gave the team a 3-0 record on the young season.

Giannis was the star of this one. After tallying just nine lone points in the first half, he’d conclude his outing with 43 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. The Buck next in line regarding scoring was Bobby Portis, who scratched out 20 points off the bench.

For Brooklyn, Kevin Durant led the way with 33 points on 10-of-23 shooting to go along with 12-of-13 from the line. Kyrie Irving mixed in 27 points of his own.

The Bucks will now face the New York Knicks at Fiserv Forum this Friday evening.

Three Observations

Giannis Antetokounmpo is simply unreal.

I mean, that is the definition of flipping a switch. Going from nine points in one half to finishing with 43 is simply absurd — but that’s exactly what Giannis did. So many times Bud is at a loss of words in describing his performances, and last night wasn’t any difference, as he described it as “vintage Giannis.” It seemed as if I was watching a pee-wee basketball game at times with how porous the Brooklyn defense was. Giannis just went through them like a hot knife through butter. I asked Bobby about his performance. Here’s what he told me:

The level of defense that Brook exhibits at the rim is out of this world.

I mean, how big is Brook to the Bucks? Pretty big — literally, as his six blocked shots would exemplify. His defensive efforts have always been on display throughout his time wearing green and cream, but last night, he was seemingly denying everything at the iron. Take a look at this play:

It’s so big to have that insurance blanket anchored down low whenever somebody drives into the lane. Bud was quick to sing the praises of Brook in the postgame presser as well:

After not having him play a majority of last season due to back trouble, you can only imagine just how happy Bud and the rest of the Bucks are that he’s back and ready to go.

A new year, but things remain the same.

As Bobby Portis enters his third season with the Bucks, his legacy is stronger than ever. In our pre-season prediction roundtable , the question of who the Fan Favorite was thrown out there. I immediately typed in Bobby Portis as my answer. It’s not a question. For those of you who don’t want to click the link for my answer, I told the story of how I was at Cactus Club for a Packer game and a guy named Bobby won a raffle prize. The entire bar immediately ignited a “BOB-BY! BOB-BY! BOB-BY!” chant. That same chant filled Fiserv Forum last night, and Bobby’s hustle and intensity helped change the tide for Milwaukee and get them back on course for victory. I also have a feeling that this won’t be the last time we hear that chant this year.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Milwaukee’s defense continues to be strong. It’s always a point of emphasis from Bud, and while they had a rough second quarter, things settled down on the defensive end. Coming into last night, Milwaukee was holding their opponents to a league-low 96.5 PPG and a league-low 40.9% shooting from the field. The Bucks are the only team in the NBA giving up fewer than 100 PPG.
  • What do you miss the most about the Bradley Center?
  • Has anybody ever seen Steve Nash that mad? I never knew he had it in him. As he was walking off the court and down the tunnel, I saw him throw something. Maybe he gets that mad when he watches Tottenham games (Go Chelsea!), but man, that was something to see.
  • George Hill had a solid outing off the bench. In a hair under 30 minutes played, he scored eight points while knocking down a three. It’s going to be interesting to see how his playing time unfolds, as Jevon Carter registered just 15:42 minutes of action.
  • Last, big news! I’m starting a NEW Jackpot Shot thread over on Twitter. Also, the jackpot shot has changed from $5,000 to $10,000 (which should be the bare minimum for a halfcourt shot). As always, I’ll continue to document every installment of the jackpot shot for games that I attend and will keep that thread running all year long.