On Monday night, the Milwaukee Bucks visited the Big Apple to take on the Brooklyn Nets in their sixth game of the season. In an offensive slugfest, the Bucks pulled away late, moving to 4-2 overall with a 129-125 victory.
The scoring went back-and-forth in the first half, with neither team able to pull away for a significant stretch of time. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard led the way offensively, combining for 27 first-half points. Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez struggled to find clean looks, as they each had just four points heading into the locker room. Even after the Bucks’ starting five combined to shoot just 1-of-16 from three, the Nets held just a 67-63 lead at the half.
The Bucks’ offense seemed to work out some of its early struggles in the third quarter. Lillard, Malik Beasley, and Pat Connaughton got going from deep, and Giannis was left open on a pair of midrange jumpers, which he proceeded to swish. Soon after Milwaukee seemed to find its groove, though, the Nets got hot. Cam Thomas was unstoppable all night, finishing with 45 points. Mikal Bridges was not far behind him, logging 31 of his own.
At the three-minute mark in the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 119. Giannis dunked to give the Bucks the lead, but Thomas was right there to notch a layup of his own. Middleton and Bridges traded jumpers to tie the game at 123 with a minute and a half remaining. Giannis dunked to give Milwaukee the advantage once again, and the team was finally able to force a miss to add to its lead. Lillard and Jae Crowder buried their free throws, and the Bucks were able to escape with their most stressful win of the season thus far.
Stat That Stood Out
The Bucks shot the absolute heck out of the three-ball tonight, and you can’t help but wonder if they weren’t a little too dependent on the long ball. They shot a season-high 48 attempts from deep as a team and made 16 of them, good for 33%. The starters combined to go 5-for-27 from deep, and Giannis took a season-high seven 3-pointers, only making one (granted, a VERY important one). Is this something to panic about? Probably not. It’s not like a lot of their attempts were ill-advised; they just weren’t falling as much as you’d like to see.