Sunday night at Fiserv Forum marked another casual outing at the office for Giannis Antetokounmpo, as he scratched out yet another 50 point performance. That helped the Bucks earn a 135-110 victory over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans.
With the Pelicans resting a majority of their typical starters, the Bucks had no trouble establishing an early lead in this one. They did so thanks to the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who absolutely toyed the New Orleans defense and got anything he wanted. His 18 points pushed Milwaukee up 37-19 after one frame.
That double-digit lead would stay intact throughout the second quarter. Giannis would erupt for even more ridiculously easy baskets, making his halftime total 29 points (the second-most points in a half he’s scored in his career). That helped pad Milwaukee’s lead even more, as it was 62-44 at the break.
The script wouldn’t change much in the third, with the Bucks still holding the momentum throughout the quarter. They were even able to take the foot off the pedal a little bit and still held a commanding 106-88 lead.
There’d be no change of direction in how this game was unfolding. The Bucks were able to slam the door with ease, and Giannis went on a scoring burst in the closing minutes that secured a 50-point outing and a 135-110 victory.
Giannis would lead the Bucks with 50 points on an insanely effective 20-of-26 shooting night in just 30 minutes. Jrue Holiday sprinkled on 17 points and Brook Lopez chipped in with 15 of his own.
Jose Alvarado was the leading scorer for New Orleans with 18 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was his typical self.
It’s always fun to see Giannis Antetokounmpo do his thing, and he did that last night. Late in the game, he was thrown back onto the floor, despite the Bucks having the game well under control — and Giannis took advantage. He poured in a pair of threes and, like all other points of the game, he got what he wanted with ease. In addition to his 50 points, he padded his stat line with 13 rebounds to go along with it. Oh, and he did that all in just 30 minutes — and 50 on 26 shots. Plain and simple, when Antetokounmpo is that dominant, it’s tough to beat the Bucks.
For the second time in three games, the Bucks faced a team’s B version.
Milwaukee hasn’t seen opposing team’s best squads in a few of the recent games. Following the load management of the Denver game, it was a similar situation last night vs. New Orleans. However, the Bucks can do nothing about that and instead, took both challenges accordingly. It can in fact sometimes be difficult to face lineups like that, as you’ll likely see different looks and lineups that you weren’t expecting. Despite that, Milwaukee still adjusted accordingly and got the job done.
Milwaukee’s offense continues to hum.
The Bucks have been having stronger offensive outings recently. However, their defense hasn’t fully been there either. In his postgame availability, Mike Budenholzer referenced both angles:
After reaching 130 points just once in the first 43 games of the season, the Bucks have now— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) January 30, 2023
scored 130+ points in five of their last seven games.
Here's what Bud had to say about the recent offense (and defense) in his postgame availability: pic.twitter.com/XMF4Y8xJlz
It’s promising to see that level of efficiency on the offensive side of the ball and remembering that Khris Middleton still isn’t even back in the starting lineup. In fact, he’s barely see the floor with Giannis and Holiday. It’ll be a test to see if that offensive output can be maintained moving forward, along with the efficiency on the defensive side of the ball rounding out.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- For yet another game, Khris Middleton off the bench. He got 17 minutes of action under his belt, resulting in nine points. You can see the offense improving with him on the floor, but it’ll be promising to see him get minutes with the rest of the starters — as there hasn’t been much of that this year.
- In the fourth quarter, Jevon Carter stripped the ball away and then hit a three on a break-away. That was a nice play.
- We all know how impactful Jonas Valanciunas can be (especially against the Bucks), but last night, that wasn’t the case. He ended up tallying 16 points, but still failed to really generate much of a difference on either end of the floor — especially against Giannis.
- With Khris Middleton continuing to come off the bench, Pat Connaughton earned another start. He hit two threes which extended his career-long streak of making multiple threes to 11 games.
- We got a Khris Middleton dunk in this one! And it was a fun one, too — a one-handed throw-down off of two feet:
- Last, given that this game was against the Pelicans, I’m looking for New Orleans recommendations! I’ll be headed down there in a couple of weeks. If you have any spots to check out (food, drinks, music, experiences — anything!), please let me know!