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Milwaukee vs. Oklahoma City: Giannis-less Bucks Wallop Thunder, 108-94

No Giannis? No problem.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks’ scorching start to the 2022-23 NBA season continues. Despite being without Giannis Antetokounmpo, they knocked off the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 108-94.

After holding a lead in the early portion of the quarter, Milwaukee suffered a scoring drought mid-way through the opening frame. That allowed Oklahoma City to seize control, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander began his scoring output. However, a late surge from the Giannis-less Bucks pulled the Bucks even. Headed into the second quarter, all things were squared up at 34 apiece.

Grayson Allen would come alive in the second quarter, leading Milwaukee in scoring. He’d finish the half with 16 total points, which was the main reason behind the Bucks building up a double-digit lead. At the break, Milwaukee found themselves up 67-53.

The floodgates would begin to open in the third. Right out of the gates, the Bucks started pulling away. Despite not having Giannis (and Middleton obviously), Milwaukee’s offense had no trouble making things happen. Once the three ball started to connect, it was difficult for the Thunder to make any moves. Headed into the fourth, the Bucks were in prime control, 93-78.

The Thunder would cut things down to ten in the last quarter, but never would they have a real chance back into this one. Instead, the Bucks would finish off this one by adding some final touches, and cross the victory line with a 108-94 victory.

Brook Lopez led the way in scoring for the Giannis-less Bucks. His final stat line would read 25 points. Oddly enough, he’d only corral in three boards (probably because Bobby was hauling them in). Jevon Carter was strong on the offense, finishing with 18 points and five threes. Grayson Allen would also connect on five from deep, totaling 19 points on the night.

For Oklahoma City, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would hold the spot of leading scorer, ending his outing with 18 points. The Australian Josh Giddey wrapped things up with 15 of his own and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl poured in 12.

The Bucks will now travel to Atlanta on Monday night to take on the Hawks.

Three Observations

MarJon Beauchamp earned his first career start.

Given the fact that Giannis was sitting this one out, you figured that the opportunities would be there for the rookie — and they were. He was flying all over the place, which ultimately resulted in him fouling out. There were a few flashes that he provided, including a nifty block on the defensive end. He’d total just two points and went 1-of-9 from the floor, but it was nice to see him being thrown into the deep end and receive some meaningful minutes. It’ll be intriguing to see how Bud utilizes him moving forward.

Jevon Carter continues to show his value to this team.

As Khris Middleton continues to be sidelined and work his way closer to a return, Jevon Carter continues to be a starter — and he continues to thrive. So many times, his defense and ability to pick up guards up full-court with his hustle is discussed. However, last night, it was his offense that shined as well, as he tallied 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting — including five threes. Postgame, I asked Mike Budenholzer about his contributions. Here’s what he told me:

I also asked Bobby Portis about Jevon’s efforts. Here’s how he responded:

Speaking of Bobby, how about those 21 rebounds?

What a performance by BP. It sounds like I’m always referencing the energy and hustle that he brings out every night, but rightfully so. He simply cannot be stopped. No matter the night, no matter the opponent, no matter where the schedule is at, Portis is going all out. Last night, he did exactly that, by hauling in an insane 21 boards. He already registered a new career-high by the second quarter. His tenacity and hustle is definitely something that the team will continue to value moving forward and rely on.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • After having a career-high of four consecutive games scoring 25+ points, Jrue Holiday scored just ten points on the night. I doubt we’ll see that low of a scoring output from him continue.
  • Grayson Allen came off the bench as MarJon Beauchamp got the nod in the starting lineup. He didn’t miss a beat, connecting on five threes and tallying 19 points. We’ve all seen the pattern of just how well Milwaukee plays when his shot is falling, and that was exemplified yet again last night. Let’s see if he continues to roll Monday night vs. Atlanta.
  • What were the vibes like at Fiserv Forum last night? Here ya go:
  • Let’s see how Giannis spent his night off:
  • Last, I’m gonna finish this Extended Recap by posting another poll to see where all of your minds are at:

Poll

When will the Bucks lose their first game?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    11/7 @ Atlanta
    (88 votes)
  • 0%
    11/9 @ Oklahoma City
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    11/11 @ San Antonio
    (19 votes)
  • 7%
    11/14 vs. Atlanta
    (22 votes)
  • 21%
    11/16 vs. Cleveland
    (62 votes)
  • 33%
    They will win all of the above games
    (97 votes)
290 votes total Vote Now