On Friday night, the Milwaukee Bucks competed in their fifth and final preseason contest against the Memphis Grizzlies, putting the finishing touches on a 3-2 preseason with a 124-116 victory.
The Bucks got off to a hot start, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez converting on their first attempts. In his first minutes of the preseason so far, Khris Middleton knocked down this midrange bucket off of a Lopez screen:
While the shooting performances teams for both teams were pretty shaky in the first half, the score went back and forth. A three-ball from Brook Lopez in the second quarter gave the Bucks their largest lead of the game, making the score 47-35. However, the Grizzlies ended the half with a 23-5 scoring run to take a 58-52 advantage into the locker room.
It feels blasphemous to include an opponent’s highlight in this recap, but this Zaire Williams dunk was too ferocious to ignore:
At the half, it was announced via the Bucks’ Twitter that Cameron Payne would miss the remainder of the game due to a right thigh contusion. Khris Middleton didn’t suit up for the second half as well, although no injury was reported in his case.
In the second half, the Bucks brought out some intriguing lineups. Most of the primary starters got a few minutes here and there—especially Giannis—but younger guys like TyTy Washington, Andre Jackson Jr., and MarJon Beauchamp were also given significant playing time.
The Grizzlies also employed youthful influence in the second half, but their lead quickly dissolved in the fourth quarter. The Bucks found a “death lineup” of sorts, at least for tonight, with Beauchamp, Washington, Jackson, A.J. Green, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo playing a majority of the fourth period. Beauchamp finished with 18 total points, and the Bucks cruised to a 124-116 victory.
Stat That Stood Out
For the second straight Rapid Recap, Damian Lillard was the Buck who stood out statistically. However, tonight’s performance was notable in a much more positive way. He played 27 minutes spread across all four quarters of the contest, scoring 19 points. He went 2-for-9 from deep, which I would obviously like to see improve. But there was still a lot to like about his performance. He found himself at the charity stripe a handful of times, and Van and I were discussing the ridiculous free throw opportunity implications of the Lillard/Antetokounmpo duo. Exciting stuff!