Without their superstar on the floor for the final three minutes...
And down 12 in the third period...
What an ATO by the Bucks pic.twitter.com/No8aIc77OX— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) December 10, 2022
Despite an outburst from Luka Doncic that included stepbacks aplenty en route to 16 first quarter points, Milwaukee matched him the whole way and trailed just 32-33 after one. An 0-9 start from the field in the second quarter foretold an ominous period for the Bucks, but they flipped the script as the clock wore on and used a late Khris Middleton hot streak to take a 52-48 lead into halftime. Dallas destroyed Milwaukee in the third with a key run and 3-pointers falling in; the Bucks cold spell meant they went into the fourth down 73-84. Giannis finally found some rhythm to start the fourth in a small lineup with Doncic on the bench, but the defensive end of the floor just couldn’t hold up. Then, Milwaukee started making its run, with Giannis finding his rhythm inside to push the Bucks back ahead after trailing by 12 at one point.
The Mavs kept snaring offensive rebounds, and Giannis fouled out hitting Tim Hardaway Jr. on a 3-point attempt with the Bucks up 102-101, three minutes left. Khris Middleton couldn’t answer a Luka Doncic runner that put Dallas ahead, but George Hill made up for any Bucks errors on the night when, after some awful missed free throws by Dallas, he delivered a beautiful lob to Lopez for the win. One of the most improbable wins of the season for the Bucks as they pull it out and prepare for Houston on Sunday.
Stat that Stood Out
Four points for Brook Lopez. Given his importance to the offense this season, and facing a Dallas team that generally trends fairly small, I thought he could offer some salve when they got into difficult situations. There were some fumbled exchanges and miscommunication between him and passers in the pick-and-roll, but generally he was a non-factor on that side of the floor...UNTIL HE HIT THE CLUTCH GAME-WINNER.
The real stat was that Dallas missed their final five free throw shots and went just 10-24 from the charity stripe!