The Milwaukee Bucks won 105-102 their preseason opener against the Chicago Bulls.
It was a bit of a disappointment to not see Lillard and Giannis on the floor against Chicago, but it was still an entertaining game nonetheless. While the Bucks rested their All-Star players, the Bulls came out with their full starting lineup and took advantage from the get-go. Chicago jumped out to a 14-6 lead at the 7:04 mark thanks to a 7-0 run thanks to a three from Zach LaVine and a couple of free throws from DeMar DeRozan. The Bulls kept the momentum to end the frame with a nine-point lead, 30-21.
The Bucks were able to keep it within single digits throughout most of the second quarter before going on a 23-8 run to take a 50-45 lead with 2:40 to play in the half. It was the three-point shooting of Jae Crowder, and Malik Beasley who nailed four threes in just a three-minute span. The Bulls were able to regain some of their mojo as Zach LaVine and Coby White scored buckets before two free throws from Nikola Vucevic gave Chicago a 51-50 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was a battle between the two sides traded baskets throughout the stanza. After the Bucks jumped out of the locker room with a 10-6 run, taking a 60-57 lead, Coby White hit a three to tie the game back at 60-60 with 7:31 left to play in the frame. From there, neither team had a lead larger than three points until Ayo Dosunmu hit a half-court buzzer-beater to give Chicago an 82-78 lead heading into the fourth.
The final frame got off to a great start for the Bucks, going on a 12-2 run to take the lead from the Bulls, 90-84. The Bucks clamped down on the Bulls, holding them 1-for-9 shooting from the floor and forcing three turnovers, getting Billy Donovan to call timeout with eight minutes to go. Andre Jackson Jr. showed off some of his jumping ability with a nasty one-handed dunk during the run.
The Bulls weren’t done just yet, as they battled back to tie the game with 34.4 seconds to play. After Griffin called timeout, Drew Timme picked up the offensive rebound off a miss from Beauchamp to give the Bucks a 101-99 lead with 29.1 to play. After Quenton Jackson missed a layup led to Beauchamp hitting a couple of free throws to make it a 103-99 game, Jackson came back the other way with an And-1 dunk to get the game back within one, 103-102. Two more Beauchamp free throws sealed the deal after Jackson turned the ball over.
It is the first pre-season win for the Bucks in nearly two years.
Stat That Stood Out
Points in the paint for the Bucks: 54
Points in the paint for the Bulls: 38
The Bucks attacked the Bulls interior defense all afternoon. Beauchamp especially drove into the lane several times in the second half to put pressure on Chicago.