Man, oh man. What a night. In a raucous finish, Dame Time struck in the dying embers of the game, as Damian Lillard’s buzzer-beating three secured a 143-142 victory for the Milwaukee Bucks over the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento has a fun offense, and it was on display to kick things off in this one. Led by De’Aaron Fox’s 12 points, Sacramento carried a 37-32 lead into the second quarter. Bobby Portis led with 11 points off the bench for Milwaukee.
The Bucks would turn on the jets and outscore Sacramento in the second quarter, allowing them to hold a 68-66 lead at the break. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 14 points served as the team high while De’Aaron Fox matched him with 14 of his own on the other side.
Thanks to the hot shooting from Malik Beasley, the Bucks protected their lead throughout the third quarter. Beasley served as the team’s leading scorer through three frames, and helped Milwaukee own a 95-91 advantage going into the final period of regulation.
It was an absolute gritty clash in the fourth, with both teams exchanging blows left and right. It was chippy too, as Mike Brown went absolutely nuclear and got tossed from the game. In the final seconds of the quarter, Giannis would get some free throws to put Milwaukee up three. However, he missed the second, allowing Sacramento to race down and get a basket from De’Aaron Fox, tying the game and sending it to OT.
Overtime was a wild rollercoaster. It seemed as if the Bucks should’ve both won and lost three times. A Kevin Huerter three gave the Kings a lead, which was then followed up by a Malik Monk jumper. Brook Lopez buried an insane 3-pointer in the corner to pull Milwaukee within one. De’Aaron Fox then split a pair of free throws, opening the door up for Dame Time — and the rest is history.
Lillard’s 29 points on the night were a team high for the Bucks. Giannis secured another triple-double with a 27/10/10 stat line. Malik Beasley (23) and Bobby Portis (23) each passed the 20-point plateau as well.
For the Kings, De’Aaron Fox poured in a game-high 32 points. Malik Monk came off the bench with 28 points and Kevin Huerter was big with 26 of his own. Domantas Sabonis also had 21.
What Did We Learn?
We learned how amazing Dame Time is. Wow. What a game. Here was my vantage point from press row:
The best part of this is Brook Lopez. Just absolutely speechless. As for his Dame Time celebration? He told us that he breaks it out when it’s necessary and that last night, it was necessary.
Here are more of the reactions:
Malik Beasley's perspective on Dame's buzzer-beater: “I was in the corner, just in case, ready to go. And I saw him slow down, actually with five seconds to go, so I was like...okay, this is definitely Dame Time. And it was Dame Time. And the rest is history.”— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) January 15, 2024
Giannis conversational postgames are always the best. He spoke for nearly over 15 minutes last night. This was some fun banter between us and him:
Giannis asked us if we agreed that Dame's shot tonight was the best buzzer-beater in his (Giannis') Bucks career.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) January 15, 2024
We mentioned Khris Middleton's shot against Miami. Giannis said that was a clean shot.
"Khris gonna be mad about it," he joked.
Fun postgame energy tonight.
And as for his actual reaction to Dame’s shot?
Giannis on Damian Lillard's game-winning shot: "When I saw the ball in the air, I was like, this shit is going in."— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) January 15, 2024
And when I said that the vibes were great in the locker room, they were. At one point, Thanasis called me over to show me a video of a Cowboys fan breaking his TV. Just amazing.
Malik Beasley was a force.
Malik Beasley absolutely brought it. He was lethal from beyond the 3-point arc, going 5-of-9 from deep. When folks think about the Bucks offense, they immediately go to Giannis, Dame, and Khris Middleton — for good reason. But man, Beasley can bring it too, especially with that beautiful 3-point shot. All in all, Beasley contributed with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting. It was big for the Bucks tonight, and it’ll remain big for them a few months from now.
Giannis keeps doing Giannis things.
As he typically is, Antetokounmpo was big down the stretch. It took a little bit for him to get going, but he was big in keeping things close in the fourth. Ultimately, he finished with another triple-double, his fifth on the year. Three of his five triple-doubles have come in his eight games so far this month. Additionally, he hit some big free throws late. Yes, he missed one, but he did go 9-of-14 from the line.
This offense is so much fun to watch.
Milwaukee scored 143 points in this win. They continue to absolutely cook on that side of the ball. It’s the sixth time this season they’ve scored 140+ points. Their six games scoring 140 points this season are now tied for the most in a season in franchise history (2018-19). Also, four Bucks scored 20+ points last night, marking the first time this season they’ve had four 20-point scorers in the same game. Milwaukee has now had at least three 20-point scorers in each of its last three games. The offense continues to hum along.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Those Kings jerseys are so cold. Talk about knocking a re-brand out of the park. Just so beautiful.
- This was really awesome to see:
Zaida Smith was a winner of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest for her age group. At halftime, she gave her powerful speech.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) January 15, 2024
After she was done, Brook Lopez, Giannis, and Cam Payne all congratulated her. pic.twitter.com/gndTqi1XbX
- That Mike Brown ejection was absolutely wild...and his postgame presser was just as wild:
Mike Brown lights into the refereeing tonight in the Kings loss in Milwaukee. Brings out a laptop in his press conference to show film of the non-foul and foul that has him ticked off. Here is the five minute soundbite. pic.twitter.com/Q8InpkFh8B— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 15, 2024
- Lillard’s game winner was also the 2,500th 3-point make of his career and his second career game-winner. It was the Bucks’ first game winner at the buzzer since Giannis’ against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 4, 2017.
- Last, Dame’s shot wasn’t the only great shot of the night. What a capture by the Bucks’ content team: