The Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to a massive 30 point lead over the Toronto Raptors thanks in large part to a combined 67 points from Damian Lillard (37 points, 9-18 from the floor, 15-16 from the line, 13 assists) and Malik Beasley (30 points, 8-11 from three) to register a 128-112 victory to move to 7-4 on the season.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo out and Andre Jackson Jr. elevated to the starting lineup, the Bucks showed off some of their most potent defensive play of the year (thanks, early Thanasis minutes) so far along with Damian Lillard’s strongest start yet with 14 points of his own as they’d end the first up 36-20. Toronto would effort their way to an 11 point deficit while the Bucks slapped together scotch tape lineups on the fly, only for Dame to push Milwaukee to a 22 point lead all by himself. A Malik Beasley banked three (bringing him to 16 points for the half) to beat the buzzer would leave Milwaukee up 70-47 at the break.
MarJon Beauchamp rolled his right ankle in the second, but then confirmed via Instagram at the half that he’s okay:
This mf marjon on his phone in the locker room at least he’s good pic.twitter.com/9gf3CY54LE— DT (@GianniGoat) November 16, 2023
For much of the third quarter, it was more of the same. Lillard and Beasley were getting just about every kind of open look they’d like to open up a 30 point lead before a brief spell of bad defense to close the frame left Milwaukee up 100-79. Toronto would get the deficit down to 15 points off the back of lackadaisical execution by the Bucks on both sides of the ball. With Lillard remaining on the bench, the Raptors would scrap their way to within 12, only for Brook Lopez to covert an and-one ATO and an open three to give the Bucks breathing space. Cam Payne’s step-back three and a Bobby Portis floater would push things permanently out of reach. Bucks win,
Stat That Stood Out
Per the Raptors broadcast, Lillard’s 12 made free throws in the first half was the highest in his entire career. It is truly a wonder watching him work defenders in space to so effortlessly draw a boatload of shooting fouls. Between him and Giannis, it is no surprise the Bucks lead the league in free throw rate, and it is that kind of steady production that can help tide the team over in the future if shots aren’t reliably falling in open play.