It was a changed Bucks defensive scheme to begin this one, as Brook Lopez returned to his normal spot in the paint near the rim. While there were improvements, New York still held a slim 25-21 advantage after one. Quentin Grimes led all scorers after a quarter with eight points. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle each had six points apiece.
Huge contributions from beyond the perimeter from Jae Crowder and MarJon Beauchamp in the second quarter flipped the script and gave Milwaukee a lead. It was a massive spark that propelled the Bucks in a big way. Heading into the half, they held a 56-46 lead.
MarJon Beuchamp would continue to provide a boost in the second half. At times where the offense struggled, it seemed as if his intensity was what secured the Bucks’ lead. Going into the fourth, Milwaukee found themselves up 82-76.
The Knicks would keep things single-digits throughout the majority of the fourth. In the end, it’d be a battle of the clutch genes between Jalen Brunson and Damian Lillard. After a Brunson three on one end, Dame sunk one of his own, followed by a crucial and-1 layup.
Stat That Stood Out
In his pregame availability, Adrian Griffin mentioned how he was anticipating dropping Brook Lopez back to below the rim. That’s exactly what he did — and it paid off. Brook made a massive difference on the defensive side of the ball, tallying eight blocks on the night. Everything just seemed more sound on the defensive side of the ball because of it. Kudos to Adrian Griffin for being able to adjust when things weren’t going as good as they could be. It’ll be intriguing to see how things play out moving forward.