MILWAUKEE — The NBA released its full schedule of games Monday night, highlighted by some key dates for the Milwaukee Bucks.
While the Bucks will have fewer nationally televised games in the 2017-18 season than in past years (16, down from 20 the past two seasons), they’ll still be part of some marquee matchups. That includes games on Halloween (vs Thunder), New Year’s Day (@ Raptors), Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4 @ Nets), St. Patrick’s Day (vs Hawks), and Easter (@ Nuggets).
Milwaukee’s schedule should be a little less taxing, with 14 back-to-back games, down from 17 last season.
The full schedule can be found here.
Oct. 18 @ Boston Celtics
The Bucks have opened the season at home each of the past two seasons, so it’s their turn to open on the road in 2017-18. Milwaukee went 1-2 against Boston last season, finishing the regular season with a 112-94 loss at the TD Garden.
Oct. 20 vs Cleveland Cavaliers
One of the Bucks’ top opponents comes at the start of the schedule, with LeBron James and company heading to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to hand Milwaukee another early test. It remains to be seen if Kyrie Irving will be part of that roster.
Jan. 1 @ Toronto Raptors
The Bucks will have to wait until New Year’s Day to get a measure of revenge against the team that knocked them out of the first round of last year’s playoffs. It could also help decide what direction Milwaukee heads with the All Star break slated for mid-February.
Return to The MECCA?
For months, the Bucks have been teasing a return to the UW | Milwaukee Panther Arena, formerly known as The MECCA, where the team called home during its only championship in 1971. That year, the Bucks beat the Washington Bullets for the championship, so it’s possible the highly-anticipated return could take place on either Nov. 20 or Feb. 27 when the Washington Wizards are scheduled to visit Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE — The efforts of Keon Broxton and Eric Thames helped the Milwaukee Brewers defeat the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night 11-7 in their first visit to Miller Park in 14 years.
The BoSox were off to an auspicious start, thanks to a first-inning home run from Mookie Betts, but it was short-lived, as Thames and Broxton homered in the bottom half of the inning. Milwaukee would tally five runs in the first, maintaining the lead for the remainder of the night.
Milwaukee now leads the majors with 55 home runs. Broxton was the offensive leader for the Brewers, going 3-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs and just a double shy of the cycle. He’s also batting .383 over his last 15 games.
“We’re just ready to play, man,” said Broxton. “We can’t wait to get something to drive and hit. I think that’s what we go to sleep thinking about, just getting a good pitch to hit and every guy in this lineup, that’s what we want to do. We want to hit something hard, early.”
Wily Peralta didn’t have as nice of an outing, lasting 4.1 innings, while giving up five hits, four earned runs, and walking three batters. He hasn’t made it out of the sixth inning in his last four starts.
Ryan Braun didn’t exactly jump off the stat sheet after returning from a forearm injury to go 1-for-4 with a run scored in the first inning. He missed a week of action, initially getting rest because of a strained trapezius muscle.
BOSTON — The Milwaukee Bucks held off a Boston Celtics rally for a 103-100 win thanks to six key points down the stretch from rookie Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon finished the game with 16 points and nine rebounds, but none bigger than the contested shot he converted with just seconds remaining to seal the win for Milwaukee.
”Tonight the ball was in my hands at the end of the game,” Brogdon said. ”It takes a lot of character and will to win more than anything to have it in a rookie’s hands at the end of the game.”
Brogdon’s confidence is one of the reasons his play has put him in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. The 26-year-old Virginia product is averaging 10.3 points per game and shooting nearly 46 percent on the season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 22 points and nine rebounds, while Khris Middleton poured in 19 points. The win keeps Milwaukee in a tie with Atlanta for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings with seven games to go. The Bucks have a two-game cushion in the playoff hunt and have won five of their last six, including the last four on the road.
Milwaukee returns home for a pair of games this weekend against the Pistons and Mavericks.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Milwaukee Brewers have traded reliever Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox for a package that includes pitcher Josh Pennington, infielder Travis Shaw, and shortstop Mauricio Dubon.
Thornburg figured to be a trade piece for Milwaukee during winter meetings this week after posting near a career-best 2.15 ERA over 67 appearances in 2016. Thornburg went 8-5 with 13 saves and a career-best 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Thornburg’s departure likely opens up the possibility that Corey Knebel becomes Milwaukee’s closer next season.
The Brewers were considering a move to second base for youngster Jonathan Villar, and with the addition of third baseman Travis Shaw, Tom Haudricout of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opines that it likely means Scooter Gennett will get dealt this offseason as well. Gennett had just agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, however. The deal was estimated to be worth about $2.5 million.
Dubon was considered the Red Sox’ No. 12 prospect, while Pennington to 22nd-ranked prospect.