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Milwaukee vs. Washington: Bucks Make Wizards Vanish, 112-98

Giannis earns a triple-double with 33/15/11

NBA: Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

After a devastating loss to Denver on Sunday, the Bucks were able to get back on track Tuesday night vs. the Wizards, earning a 112-98 victory.

Bobby Portis provided an instant spark for the Bucks, canning four field goals in a short duration of time. That helped Milwaukee seize a double-digit advantage early on, and they’d still be holding on by a smaller margin when the first quarter wrapped up, 24-20.

The Bucks would regain their double-digit advantage nearly instantly in the second quarter. After a strong start from Portis, Grayson Allen would begin to get in on the action, as would Giannis Antetokounmpo. All of that resulted in Milwaukee claiming a 53-40 lead going into the locker rooms.

The third quarter continued to be a struggle again for Milwaukee, as the Wizards sliced their way back into this one, 78-73. Kyle Kuzma started to get cooking for Washington, as his point total through three quarters was 21 points.

The Wizards would finally gain their first lead of the night midway through the fourth quarter. However, the Bucks were able to get back in their groove to close things out. Giannis would earn a triple-double and eventually, a Khris Middleton 3-pointer served as the icing on the cake and put the Wizards to bed. Milwaukee would end up winning by a final score of 112-98.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the stat sheet for all scorers, capping his performance off with a triple-double consisting of 33 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists. Kyle Kuzma was the leading scorer for Washington, scoring 25 points.

Three Observations

When the team needs him, Giannis is always there.

It goes without saying that Giannis means the world to the Bucks. Last night, that proved to be the case yet again — for what, the billionth time in his career? It was a bit of a slow start to his evening, but eventually, he got going in a strong way. His final stat line would read 33 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists, earning him another triple-double. It seemed that the turning point in this one was when Montrezl Harrell committed a hard foul on Antetokounmpo, which ended up being upgraded to a flagrant-one. Giannis would calmly sink the pair of free throws, and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way for Milwaukee. Oh, and with his 33 point performance, he’s now scored 25 points in 17 straight games (career-high).

The third quarter continues to be the Achilles’ Heel for Milwaukee.

In what has become a common theme for this Bucks squad, the third quarter continued to be yet another eyesore for the team. It’s what allowed Washington to regain confidence and get themselves back in it, as they outscored Milwaukee 33-25 in that period. There was an array of problems for the Bucks that contributed to this. Here’s what Mike Budenholzer had to say about that:

“I’ll have to take a look at the film. I feel like we fouled too much, on the free throw line too much, Harrell got going...it felt like Harrell really had maybe a whole half where he was a handful for us. They hit some threes, so I think 33 for them, which is just too many. I don’t know how many free throws and I don’t know how many threes. I think, to me, the offense and the shots we were getting...we had a lot spin out, bottom out...I thought the way we were playing offensively during the stretch when it wasn’t going our way was better and what we need to be offensively and defensively we need to continue to clean it up and get better in the third quarter.”

It was a balanced night of scoring for the Bucks.

Going up and down the scoring sheet, every starter registered double-digits. Giannis had 33. Holiday had 22. Bobby Portis had 17. Khris Middleton had 13. Grayson Allen had 10. These are the nights where the Bucks tend to be at their best, as it just gives them more angles to attack their opponent from. If I had told you before the game that Khris Middleton would only score 13 points, you likely would’ve thought that the Bucks had lost. However, that wasn’t the case due to all of the starters stepping up and making sound contributions.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • “Drop It Like It’s Hot” plays after some of Bobby Portis’ buckets. I think that’s easily the best song that plays after a Bucks player scores.
  • Donte finished with just seven points, but he did make some acrobatic plays, including an “awkward” tip-back slam. It’ll be interesting to see how his future shapes up in these coming weeks.
  • Thomas Bryant got injured for the Wizards last night. I immediately thought it was his ACL, as he recently came back after tearing it last year. However, the Wizards ruled it as an ankle sprain, which, as an owner of him in dynasty basketball, was relieved to hear.
  • The type of passion that Bobby Portis brings on a nightly basis is truly unmatched:
  • Call me crazy, but I miss the Wizards’ old colors. The blue and gold was so unique. I get why they chose red, white, and blue, but man, it really seems like we’re running out of unique color schemes in professional sports.
  • Giannis passed Michael Jordan for 18th all-time in triple-doubles with 29. Now that’s some exclusive company.