Without Giannis Antetokounmpo or Jrue Holiday, Bud’s backups let the Milwaukee Bucks really dominate this Orlando Magic team from almost start to finish for a 134-123 win. Khris Middleton got his first start since December 15 and delivered with 24 points and 11 assists.
Milwaukee wasted no time penetrating the Magic’s defense, then a crew of backups helped polish off the period beautifully to create a 36-26 lead after the first. Orlando squeezed back into the game to tighten it up, but the Bucks started drawing fouls and pouring in late-period buckets to provide a 70-60 score at half. The third quarter maintained the status quo for both teams, with the Bucks up 102-92 and 12 minutes away from their second straight win. The Magic kept trying to stay in it, and they fought valiantly, but they just couldn’t find a way to get the game all that close as Milwaukee won its second straight.
Stat that Stood Out
The Bucks, and Khris Middleton in particular, just preyed on these poor young magic players by baiting them into shooting fouls. Milwaukee hit 32-34 from the free throw line, a ridiculous 94.1% conversion rate. That’s their third most free throw attempts in a game this season. To get to the charity stripe that many times, without Giannis Antetokounmpo (who is essentially their lone driver of consistent free throw attempts) stood out.