Cutting their magic number to two (possibly one, pending the result of Sixers-Celtics), the Milwaukee Bucks took down a depleted Washington Wizards team behind a three-point barrage and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s sixth triple-double of the season.
A very back-and-forth first ended with the Bucks up 32-29, though Pat Connaughton sprained his ankle going for a rebound and left the game. It remained close until midway through the second when Milwaukee really began to dial it in from behind the arc, hitting 8 of their 13 three-point attempts. That resulted in a 43-point quarter and a 75-62 edge at intermission.
Jae Crowder of all people went nuclear by dropping 13 in the third, ten of which came in the first two minutes. Leading 114-97 entering the last frame, the Wizards got “spunky” (in the words of Marques Johnson) and cut it to twelve behind a hot Kendrick Nunn. They’d get it back into that range a couple more times, but Giannis checked back in to put it away, helped by key triples from Jrue Holiday and Joe Ingles. The 140-128 final only looked that close due to some garbage time Wizards buckets.
Stat That Stood Out
Though they had plenty of success inside too (50 points in the paint), the three-point numbers really jump off the page. They finished 23/42 from deep, and their 9/20 figure in the second half signified a downgrade compared to the 14/22 first half, only propped up by those aforementioned late makes.
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