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Milwaukee vs. Los Angeles: Bucks Steal 106-105 Victory over Clippers

Milwaukee’s win streak is now sitting at six games

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

My ears are still ringing. In a playoff-like atmosphere at Fiserv Forum, the Bucks were able to come from behind and knock off the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-105

Things didn’t start off on the right foot for Milwaukee, who found it a struggle to score many points in the opening minutes of the first. The Bucks struggled mightily from the floor, failing to connect on a single 3-pointer in the first quarter (0-for-8). They were able to erase the double-digit deficit before the horn sounded, but it still wasn’t pretty, as Los Angeles carried a 24-15 lead into the second.

Milwaukee chiseled their way back into this one in the early portion of the second and eventually secured their first lead of the night. Shooting woes would continue to be the theme for the Bucks, mainly from deep. Through the aggressiveness of Giannis, the score stayed at single digits at half, 56-49.

The Clippers came out roaring in the second half, immediately ripping off six points and ballooning their lead back to double-digits. They flirted with 20+ point leads at multiple times, but the Bucks did a good job of shaving off the deficit as things waned down. Headed into the fourth quarter, Los Angeles cradled an 87-78 lead.

What a thrilling finish. Things would rock back-and-forth between the two teams, and in the end, Giannis Antetokounmpo gave his team the win. Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot attempt failed to fall, paving the way to a massive 106-105 win for Milwaukee.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way among both teams in this one. His final stat line would read 54 points, 19 rebounds, and a pair of assists. Khris Middleton chipped in with 16 off the bench.

For the Clippers, Norman Powell provided the main punch with 26 points off the bench. Kawhi Leonard had 17 points while Paul George provided 16.

The Bucks are off Friday and resume Saturday with a home game against the Miami heat.

Three Observations

Giannis Antetokounmpo is an alien.

He never fails to amaze. He’s now earned another 50 point performance on the season, and it came at a time where Milwaukee desperately needed it. He simply put the squad on his back coming down the stretch, getting a basket any way he wanted to. He now joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5 games, 1971-72) as the only players in franchise history to have three or more 50-point games in a season. Here’s a rundown of his recent brilliance:

As for what Mike Budenholzer had to say? This sums it up pretty well:

And now, your new Culver’s brand ambassador:

Milwaukee couldn’t buy a 3-pointer.

Early on, the Bucks found themselves in a hole by failing to hit threes. They didn’t hit a single one in the first quarter and things failed to improve. All in all, their final stat line in that department read 9-of-37. We’ve seen similar scripts in past matchups, both in the regular season and postseason. Plain and simple, if the Bucks are unable to convert from the perimeter, it’s going to be tough for them to win.

Jrue Holiday had a night to forget.

On the day where he was named an All-Star, Jrue Holiday wasn’t able to put it together. His 12 points didn’t provide much flavor. Given that Khris Middleton is still ramping his minutes back up, scoring from the guard play is very much needed and Holiday was unable to provide much of it last night. I don’t anticipate this to become a theme for him moving forward, as he looks to rebound Saturday vs. Miami.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • This win marked the largest comeback of the year. Incredible resilience shown by Milwaukee in this one.
  • Khris Middleton continued to come off the bench. However, the trio of he, Antetokounmpo, and Holiday all saw the floor late. Here’s what Mike Budenholzer told us postgame:
  • So happy that Eric agrees with me:
  • I’ll also follow that up with this:
  • Paul George missed two free throws in the fourth quarter. That meant that fans in attendance got free wings. People already love wings. They’re even better when they’re free.
  • Wes Matthews’ defense is still unreal.
  • Talk about closing out a game. Sheesh.
  • With the Bucks donning the purple and green uniforms, another player from that era made a pre-game appearance:

Never forget his game-winner against Indiana.

  • All year long, the Bucks have shown significant interest in Jae Crowder in the trade market and last night epitomized why:

Yeah, that wasn’t pretty at all. The Bucks desperately need depth in that area of the floor. We know a similar situation awaits Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and they simply don’t have the defensive answer currently on their roster. We’re now under a week until the deadline hits next Thursday. Will the Bucks be able to make a move to alleviate this need? We’ll find out.

  • From JSOnline Castaway 2.0 in the Rapid Recap comments section: Norman Powell had 26 points and a -27. Jevon Carter had zero points and a +23. Wow.
  • #OldFriend Norman Powell really took it to the Bucks last night:
  • Last, where do you stand on the MVP race? Giannis, Jokic, Luka, Embiid all have cases for it. Right now, I think it’s between Jokic and Giannis. It’s gonna be an incredible race as the season winds down.