clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Milwaukee vs. Sacramento: Brook & His Donnybrook Bungles Kings’ Beam Dreams

Oh, and Giannis + Khris scoring 77 helped too

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks may not be treated to the beam as the leave the Sacramento Kings arena tonight, but something tells me they’ll sleep much more soundly after a hyper-intense, come-from-behind 133-124 victory punctuated by a tussle that encapsulated this game’s energy

It was a tale of two teams from beyond the arc in the first quarter, with the Kings scorching 6-11 from three while the Bucks shot merely 1-7...and yet Milwaukee was down only 27-32. Sacramento opened the second on a tear, but the Bucks didn’t relent and a late push helped them trail merely 53-62 by halftime. An impressive turnaround in the third, keyed by Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, catapulted the Bucks back into the lead, up 90-87 after three. Sacramento wouldn’t go away for the rest of the night, but a late push by Milwaukee’s big three opened up a sizable lead and put away the Kangz comfortably.

Three Pointers

It’s good to have Giannis back. He singlehandedly kept the Bucks in the game for the early stages of the first half, scoring 19 of Milwaukee’s first 31 points. Gone were the days of Metu actually providing some resistance and Giannis was obliterating everyone on the Kings interior when he had the ball. It wasn’t just brute force either, it was spin moves along the baseline, dunks, turnaround footwork into a push shot. He really had his rhythm flowing, even with missing a few chip shots. Sacramento had no answer for him as he poured in 46 on just 28 shots.

Hey...Khris was back too! Middleton has clearly been up and down since his return from the second injury, although generally more good than bad of late. He was beaming good energy in this one, shaking off a sluggish first half to erupt in the second with triples, drawn fouls and penetration for lay-ins in the paint. He looked much more like himself during that period, and Zora on the broadcast mentioned that one thing he took away from being on the bench was that when he’s in the game, he needs to make an immediate impact. He did that and then some, including an outstanding read drawing defenders atop the arc in the fourth before firing a whirling dervish pass over to Grayson in the corner for a key three. For someone who has struggled with that at times in the past, scoring 31 points on 15 shots to go with nine assists was quite impressive.

The defensive intensity ramped up to start half number two. You could see Brook Lopez dominating the paint with his length, and about the only thing preventing them from total lockdowns were offensive boards by the Kings and their continued inability to miss from deep. Sabonis remained relentless on the offensive glass, but the Bucks got some shooting luck and ratcheted up their pressure to complement a much-improved offensive showing for that quarter. The overall numbers won’t look great for this defensive performance, but there was a marked difference between the two halves for this team. By the way, Brook was incredible.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • I enjoyed Mike Brown calling a timeout with gusto immediately after Sacramento allowed a Giannis transition bucket for Milwaukee’s first points of the game.
  • Of course Giannis broke an 0-5 start for the Bucks from deep...
  • Man, I knew the Kings played fast, but they really are unrelenting in their ability to push it down the court and attack a defense while it’s still on its heels getting set. They do a great job turning those opportunities into two-man dishes for Sabonis at the rim or drive and kickouts.
  • My current defensive pet peeve: allowing off-ball players to cut directly straight down the lane to receive a bounce pass and finish. The Warriors pummeled Milwaukee with that action and Middleton gave one up too easily in the first period .and then AGAIN in the second. The Kings make it so hard because you need to play high to try and disrupt the handoffs, but it leaves you susceptible to that backcut.
  • I’m glad Milwaukee didn’t get overly reliant on the three ball in the early stages of this game. Cold from beyond the arc, they methodically used buckets from Lopez in the paint to whittle away at a one time 15-point advantage for the Kings.
  • Giannis drew another charge in this game! Release the doves.
  • Bud came out of halftime and immediately had Jrue and Grayson switch a screen, a nice change of pace after watching the team fight like hell through screens the whole first half and watching the Kings pull up with relative ease. And that was about the last time I noticed a switch for some time.
  • Brook Lopez attempted to bat a ball in the air almost the full court to a Jrue Holiday streaking down the other end...and it barely got to halfcourt before De’Aaron Fox quickly corralled it to shoot an open three. Throwback to his volleyball days, and I now see why he went with basketball.
  • Sacramento went to what looked like a zone early in the fourth quarter as another defensive look and the Bucks did a nice job of dissecting it with penetration (including Brook!) and timely triples.
  • There was an incredible sequence around 7:30 in the 4th when Allen had lost Huerter off-ball on a screen and Crowder yelled out a switch so Jae could stick with him. From there, Crowder navigated three different screens until he quasi-flopped off a Sabonis screen to get a moving screen call.
  • Sacramento’s in-game ops playing “Bleeding love” while Brook Lopez was being treated for a bleeding cut on his eye was *chefs kiss*.