Well, that was an unexpected thriller. In an overtime finish, the Bucks were able to survive against the Boston Celtics by a score of 131-125 at Fiserv Forum.
Newly acquired Mike Muscala was massive for the Celtics in the first quarter. Boston held the lead for the majority of the period thanks to him.. Milwaukee went on a mini drought to close out the frame, which the visitors took advantage of. The Celtics carried a 35-27 lead after one.
Boston’s shooting would come down more to Earth in the second, but they still stayed in front. Some foul calls began to hurt the Bucks, which the Celtics complimented with some scoring. However, down the stretch, Milwaukee was able to scratch and claw their way in front by a slim margin, 64-63.
It was an ugly quarter in all sorts of fashion to kick off the second half. Sloppy basketball from both teams made it hard to enjoy. Boston ended up taking more advantage of it all, as they eliminated Milwaukee’s lead and pieced together a double-digit lead about midway through the quarter. The Bucks would get it to five headed into the fourth thanks to a Jrue Holiday half-court shot at the horn.
Milwaukee seemed to have this one under control late, but Sam Hauser’s prayer of a shot ended up going in. That shot tied it up at 116-116. Khris Middleton’s game-winning attempt would fail to fall, forcing an overtime period.
The Bucks couldn’t buy a shot in the first three minutes of OT. Boston would begin on a 7-2 run, seizing all the momentum. However, Jrue Holiday kept his massive performance going with a late three, securing the win and matching a career-high in points with 40.
Holiday’s 40 points led all scorers. That number also included eight threes. Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in with a casual 36 point performance.
Derrick White was the leading scorer for Boston, tallying 27 points. Former Buck Malcolm Brogdon had a strong outing with 26 points off the bench.
Jrue Holiday was magnificent.
Every time the Bucks needed a jolt to their offense, Jrue Holiday was their guy. He buried eight threes on the night, which was a new career-high (previously was seven vs. Memphis in 2020). The Bucks seemed dead in the water to start overtime, as Boston immediately raced out to a 7-2 run in the first three minutes. Additionally, he was able to create turnovers and pressure on the defensive side of the ball, which was something that Bud mentioned in his postgame press conference. There’s a reason why he’s an All-Star, and he exemplified that tonight.
This game was all over the place.
Talk about just an absolute mess. No team seemed to get any groove. At one point in the third quarter, both teams exchanged technical fouls, turnovers, and just overall poor decisions. It was an absolute trainwreck at sometimes. However, in the later portions of the game, both teams solidified their skillset and made it quite competitive. Despite at certain times there not being any flow, kudos to the Bucks for finding the focus when needed to come out with a win.
Turnovers plagued the Bucks.
One of the main things that killed the Bucks were the turnovers. Boston was able to build up leads at multiple points throughout the night because of it. In the end, Milwaukee coughed the ball up 18 times compared to Boston’s 13. Turnovers have been an issue at times for the Bucks throughout the year, and you know that Bud won’t be happy about it as the team reviews film. Look for them to mitigate that in Chicago to close things out before the All-Star break.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Newly acquired Buck Jae Crowder didn’t play last night, but he’s getting close:
Here’s Jae Crowder getting some shots up.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 14, 2023
He won’t play tonight (return to competition conditioning). pic.twitter.com/GuVf3Fj5de
- When I walked in and saw the blue court, I figured that the team would wear the blue jerseys to accompany it. I was wrong. They wore the black alternates. A little odd.
- That’s now 11 straight wins for the Bucks:
That's a long win streak. pic.twitter.com/RdXIjmMv45— Andy Nelson (@MilwaukeeAndy) February 15, 2023
- Giannis struggled a bit at the charity stripe. He went just 11-of-19.
- There were some tough calls that didn’t go Milwaukee’s way. The refs really seemed to favor the Celtics last night, particularly in the first half. It seemed as if nearly everything fell Boston’s way. They did a good job of taking advantage of it, as they were able to construct a lead at numerous points throughout the night due to it.
- What a way to end the third quarter:
JRUE BEATS THE BUZZER FROM BEHIND THE LOGO!! pic.twitter.com/i4oFDupnWI— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 15, 2023
- With a majority of Boston’s starting five out of this one, Wisconsin-native Sam Hauser earned the start for Boston. He went to SPASH (Stevens Point Area Senior High). I will always say that team was the best high school basketball the state of Wisconsin has ever seen. Trevor Anderson and the Hauser brothers (Sam’s little brother Joey) were an absolute massive big three.
- Every time Giannis goes down with an injury scare, the entire arena goes silent — and rightfully so. That happened last night, but thankfully, Antetokounmpo seems to be fine:
Regarding that injury scare, Bud says Giannis banged knees and that the initial report from his staff was positive.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 15, 2023
- Last, this was absolutely insane. Why was he here? The only reason I can come up with is that he and his family are big Bucks fans. I couldn’t find any news of a business trip for him.
well, here’s something you don’t see at every bucks game— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 15, 2023
the president of ICELAND is here pic.twitter.com/2bzhP8Tjfl
Also, this guy is in a foreign country with his kids with no security detail around him, sitting among fans. The guy in the Brandon Jennings jersey behind him is the cherry on the top.