The Milwaukee Bucks came into Wednesday night’s #BucksAfterDark matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers needing a win, and they got a break coming in. The defending champ’s two biggest impact players, and names, in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, missed the contest nursing injuries. The Bucks, however, were certainly not unscathed in this regard coming in either. This is because two of their biggest frontcourt options in Bobby Portis (protocol) and P.J. Tucker (left calf strain) were out as well. So, who showed up, stole the show, and who came out on top in the Battle of the Bruised on Wednesday night? It’s time for your Bucks Review!
It was definitely the Jrue show early, as he scored Milwaukee’s first six points of the contest and assisted on Donte DiVincenzo’s three to make it 9-5 early. The Lakers took control right back, though, going from 6-0 down to up 17-11 in just 2:50 in the first quarter behind a three-point flurry. This would be a theme that would continue for the rest of the quarter, as while the Bucks were able to keep pace to an extent, the Lakers shooting in this quarter was fantastic. LA would shoot 8-for-13 from behind the arc in the first quarter alone, clinging onto a 30-24 lead after 12 minutes.
The Bucks would respond with a solid start to the second quarter, cutting the Laker lead down to just three before a couple of Kuzma buckets brought it back to seven just as quickly. Milwaukee, however, countered once again with a 14-5 run, with Middleton leading the charge. This run gave the Bucks the lead with just under five minutes left in the period. Once again, though, the Lakers would simply not be denied, as they would be right on the Bucks tail every step of the way. Milwaukee made one more push, though, as they went into the half with a 57-49 advantage.
Markieff Morris: 13p/3r/2a, 4/6 FG, 3/4 3P
Kyle Kuzma: 11p/3r/3a/1s, 5/8 FG, 1/4 3P
Jrue Holiday: 16p/5r/3a/1s, 6/7 FG, 2/2 3P
Khris Middleton: 13p/1r/5a/1s, 6/11 FG, 1/1 3P
The Third Quarter
The Milwaukee barrage continued into the third quarter, as the Bucks big men came out firing. Lopez and Giannis combined for eight of the 12 points the Bucks scored in the first 2:45 of the period. This pushed the lead to 13, with the same trend continuing for much of the quarter. LA didn’t get any closer as the good guys took an 89-75 lead into the final frame.
The Fourth Quarter
The Lakers would cut slightly into the Bucks’ lead to start the fourth, with an Alex Caruso jumper cutting things to 12 with 8:52 to go. Things would stay relatively stagnant for the next couple minutes, until a Bryn Forbes triple brought things back to 15, forcing a timeout with 6:23 remaining. A Kuzma and-one made it a dozen once again with just over four minutes to go, but a pair of threes by Donte and Jrue made it 109-91 and effectively iced it.
The Bucks would cruise from there to a 112-97 win and advance their record to 30-17. They will lace up and continue the West Coast swing against Portland on Friday night. Stay tuned for the preview and Bucks Review of that game coming soon!
Montrezl Harrell: 19p/5r, 6/11 FG
Dennis Schroder: 17p/3r/8a/1s/1b, 6/18 FG, 3/8 3P
Jrue Holiday: 28p/8r/6a/4s, 11/16 FG, 3/5 3P
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 25p/10r/4a/3b, 8/13 FG, 1/1 3P, 8/10 FT
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