The Milwaukee Bucks gave the Chicago Bulls fans a beautiful gift this evening - hope - even if for a fleeting second that was a gracious gesture before they slammed the door shut with a fourth quarter crushing that netted a 118-112 win.
Milwaukee kept it close throughout the first, so close in fact it was tied between the two at 25 apiece. The Bucks went up by as much as 14 in the second period, but allowed Chicago to claw their way back within 53-57 by halftime. Unfortunately, the Bulls continued that momentum into the third and bullrushed the Bucks to take an 88-81 advantage heading into the final period. Behind a dominating, bullying 16 fourth quarter period from Jrue Holiday, coupled with plenty of offensive rebounds, the Bucks managed to outmuscle the Bulls away for a third consecutive win. They now head back to Milwaukee to await the arrival of the Phoenix Suns for a Sunday matinee.
Stat that Stood Out
The biggest difference in this one played out acutely as the game went on, with numerous fourth quarter offensive rebounds going to Milwaukee. They boasted a 30.8% OREB% compared to just 17% for the Bulls. In the end, they couldn’t stop the bigger Bucks on the glass, which didn’t always lead to points but led to significantly fewer chances for the Bulls. All in all, it was precisely the formula that helped benefit them so acutely in the Playoffs last year. Nice to see it lead them to a dub here.