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Bucks vs. Warriors: Milwaukee Pulls Away Late to Earn the Win

Giannis, Dame, and Khris all surpass 20+ points

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that didn’t feature Stephen Curry, the Milwaukee Bucks were still able to handle the Golden State Warriors, 129-118.

Game Summary

The Warriors landed the first punch in this one, hopping in front by six points in the opening minutes. Milwaukee was quick respond though, hauling themselves back in front. Damian Lillard found his scoring touch in a fast manner, carving out 12 first-quarter points. It helped push the Bucks’ lead to 33-24 after one quarter of play.

Milwaukee found the momentum they generated to close out the first quarter vanish within the next period. Using a balanced dose of scoring, Golden State kept chipping away and overtook the Bucks for a 56-54 halftime lead. Trayce Jackson-Davis would lead the way for them with ten points. Three others etched out nine.

Damian Lillard kept his scoring output going in the third. It helped Milwaukee re-take the lead, as they carried an 83-81 advantage into the fourth period.

Things remained close for a bit in the fourth, but Milwaukee’s efficiency was just too much for the Curry-less Warriors to handle. Khris Middleton, Giannis, and Andre Jackson Jr. led the way in closing things down, and the Bucks put the final touches on a 129-118 victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was the game-high scorer, ending his outing with 33 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Damian Lillard brought it on the scoring end as well, finishing with 27 points of his own.

Jonathan Kuminga erupted off the Golden State bench to finish with 28 points as the team-high. Wisconsin-native Brandin Podziemski was next in line with 23 points.

The Bucks are back in action tonight against the visiting Sacramento Kings.

What Did We Learn?

So many times this season, Andre Jackson Jr. has provided a glimpse of being something special. The impact is there so many times, and often, it’s off-the-ball things. Last night, he did that, along with showing up on the stat sheet. In 28 minutes of action, Jackson notched his first career double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. He was his typical self as well, soaring all up-and-down the court, something which was put on display here:

Here’s what Adrian Griffin had to say about him in his postgame availability:

“He made big time plays. He’s a big time player. He was a winner in college. Has a motor like I haven’t seen in a long time. He imposes his will on the game. He just made big time plays. He made winning plays. That’s who Dre is. I think it was his first double-double. We needed every rebound. He had six offensive rebounds. He’s guarding the best player on the other side. He’s shaping into being a really special player in this league.”

It remains to be quite the joy to watch the kid out of UConn.

Three Observations

Damian Lillard made contributions in multiple areas.

Right off the bat, Dame began scoring the basketball. A flurry of Milwaukee’s opening points were scored by him, which helped set the tone early on. He’d fizzle out throughout the game, but ultimately re-gain his scoring touch in the second half. However, when he wasn’t scoring the basketball, he was making impacts elsewhere. In addition to his 27 points, he dished out seven assists, setting up great opportunities for his teammates. This was something that was always seen prior to the beginning of the season regarding the versatility of the Milwaukee offense. There are just so many ways they can come at an opponent — and when the scoring tapers off for somebody, they find another way to establish an impact.

Khris Middleton was mightily effective.

This was one of the best outings of the season for Khris Middleton. He joined Giannis and Dame in the 20-point club on the night, finishing with 24 points of his own. He also dished out ten assists, earning his fourth double-double of the season. It was his eighth 20-point game of the season, with all eight of those games coming in his last 17 contests. He was huge down the stretch as well. He, Giannis, and Andre Jackson Jr. all had their fingerprints on the door that ultimately slammed the Warriors goodnight. Obviously, this wasn’t a playoff game. It wasn’t even close to being one. However, I thought last night was a glimpse into the springtime and how lethal this Bucks offense is going to be down the stretch when they have so many routes they can go in generating offense.

Early on, the Bucks struggled in allowing points at the rim.

This was something that the Warriors were able to exploit. Ultimately, it’s what gave them their halftime lead. Points in the point were in their favor at the break, forcing the Bucks to go to the drawing board. Milwaukee did a good job of wiping up the blemishes in the second half, but it was still something that had an impact on the game. Preventing offensive boards is always something that Adrian Griffin preaches. Given the fact that tonight’s opponent boasts a beast in Domantas Sabonis who reels in rebounds like a Hungry Hungry Hippo, it’ll be imperative for the Bucks to be strong in that department.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Pre-game, Steve Kerr was asked about his team’s recent ties to Wisconsin natives on their roster. He gave a nod to Bo Ryan and joked that they were thinking about running the swing offense.
  • It was a give-and-take night for Bobby Portis. He’d score ten points and haul in eight rebounds, but also finished with five fouls.
  • The Bucks closed out the fourth quarter in a strong manner. They’d end up hitting their final 18-of-26 shots.
  • Here’s an update on the status of Jae Crowder from Adrian Griffin during his pre-game presser:
  • This continues to be a historic year for the Jackpot Shot. We had another winner!
  • For the 10th time this season, and for the second consecutive game, the Bucks had three players score 20+ points with Giannis Antetokounmpo (33), Damian Lillard (27) and Khris Middleton (24) all eclipsing the 20-point mark tonight. It’s the fourth time this season that trio has scored 20 points in the same game.

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