Damian Lillard scored 27 points on Friday in the 130-99 win over the Charlotte Hornets in game 2 of the In-Season Tournament, where the Milwaukee Bucks now sit at 2-0.
Milwaukee Bucks Undefeated in NBA In-Season Tournament
Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the lineup after sitting out of Wednesday’s win over the Toronto Raptors to calf soreness, he added on 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, while Malik Beasley added 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, outscoring the Hornets 38-18 in the fourth quarter.
Damian Lillard shot 4-for-5 from the three-point range, while Milwaukee went a total of 22-of-45 from beyond the arc, while Charlotte went a mere 6-of-26 from the three-point range.
Dame was buzzin’.
27 PTS | 5 3PM | 5 REB | 5 AST pic.twitter.com/qHNnjFsdXS
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) November 18, 2023
Lillard is coming off of a 37-point game against Toronto, and he believes the success in due in part to being able to play the entirety of the first quarter in both games, which was something he did when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I think that has been helpful the last couple of games because it gives me more time to see the coverages and see what’s happening and be able to assert myself,” Lillard said. “I’m able to have more impact on the direction of the game and also get myself going a little bit better that way.”
Coach Adrian Griffin shared that it was a much better flow of playing this week compared to their last set of games, players sharing the ball more.
“I loved how we shared the ball and moved the ball and were looking for each other,” Griffin said. “That is what we have been stressing the last week or so, and it’s a fun way to play.”
The Hornets were able to get a 37-28 on the Bucks after the first quarter, but Milwaukee responded quickly, outscoring Charlotte in both the second and third periods, taking a 60-44 lead heading into the half.
Holding a 91-82 lead going into the final period, the Hornets were able to bring the lead down to six, and the Bucks went on a 17-2 run to secure their eighth win of the season and improve their record to 8-4.
Not only do the Bucks improve their record to 8-4, but they now sit first place in the In-Season Tournament bracket for the East Group B. They’ll face off with the Miami Heat on Nov. 28 to see who’ll advance to the single elimination knockout round.
Up Next for the Bucks:
The Bucks are back home at Fiserv Forum on Saturday night to host the Dallas Mavericks, who are sitting at 9-3 on the season. The Mavericks are coming off a 130-117 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, and this will be the first time this season the two teams face one another. Milwaukee went 2-0 last season against Dallas.
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