MILWAUKEE | On the day a Milwaukee Bucks’ legend had his number retired (Marques Johnson No. 8), the Bucks coasted to victory at home defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-105.
Player of the game: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis definitely leads the season in “player of the games” and for good reason. He is in an MVP race and is the leader on the best team in the NBA. The Bucks played without him their last game against the Cavaliers in a loss. Giannis was not about to let that happen on the day Marques Johnson’s No. 8 jersey was retired. He dropped 24 points (10-13 FG), grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists. This is his NBA-high 39th game of the season scoring 25+ points with 10 or more rebounds.
Play of the game: Marques Johnson No. 8 jersey retirement
Bucks’ legend Marques Johnson had his No. 8 jersey raised into the rafters Sunday afternoon. The halftime ceremony went a little longer than expected but that was perfectly fine for a guy like Johnson. The current Bucks’ team was on the court to support him.
Giannis talked about the moment for Johnson.
It was a nice moment for me and the team. I think the whole team watched it. We knew that it was going on, so we wanted to go there early and be able to enjoy the moments with him. Great player who deserved his jersey getting retired. He is a Hall of Famer who has been around us a lot.
The good: Shooting
Milwaukee was unconscious from the field all afternoon. The Bucks converted on 48 of their 87 attempts for 55.2% and knocked down 15 of 41 three-point attempts (36.6%). They improved to 23-1 this season when shooting 50% or better from the field. The Bucks have now out-shot their opponent in 55 games this year and own a 53-2 record in those contests.
The weird: The Bucks watching Duke vs UCF
In the locker room after the game, Giannis, Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, Tony Snell and Bonzie Colson were locked in on March Madness. They had the Duke/UCF second round game on and watched the remaining three-four minutes. They laughed, they cheered, Lopez even came up with an idea for a possible Taco Bell and Tacko Fall advertisement. Giannis also shared who he picked to win the championship. He said he chose Gonzaga because he saw them beat Duke earlier in the season.
Stat of the game: 0
Cleveland’s biggest lead of the afternoon was zero. The Bucks led wire to wire and were up by as many as 22 points. It looked like Milwaukee wanted to dominate from the opening tip and that’s exactly what they did. The Cavaliers defeated the Bucks last Wednesday and there was no way it was happening for a second time. Sunday’s wire-to-wire victory marked the Bucks’ seventh game of the season leading from start to finish. They are now tied with the Golden State Warriors for second most wire-to-wire wins this season, behind the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets who each have eight.
What they said:
Head coach Mike Budenholzer on the team’s effort.
It probably helps a little bit that we just played them. The focus of our guys and the effort of our guys for a lot of this year has been really impressive and good. I think we need to continue that. It needs to be a priority each day we play.
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love on what makes the Bucks so difficult to guard.
I think it all starts with Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. He makes it so tough on the defense. You try to collapse, and they have the personnel to light you up. They have shooters all around. They’re a tough team to guard. They’re long on the defensive end and it makes them really tough to score on as well. They have all the pieces to be the best team in the East and they’re showing that this year, especially towards the end of the season.
In case you missed it:
*The Bucks are now a season-high 36 games over .500 and improved their NBA-best record to 55-19.
*Milwaukee is now 30-6 at home, which is tied with Denver for the best home record in the NBA.
*With Sunday’s win, the Bucks secured a 3-1 season series win over the Cavs. This is Milwaukee’s 17th series win of the season and 11th (out of a possible 11) against Eastern Conference opponents.
*This is Milwaukee’s 11th win of the season by 20+ points. The Bucks have had 41 of their 54 wins (75.9%) come by double figures this season.
*Brook Lopez scored 14 points shooting 5-for-9 from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Lopez has now knocked down at least two 3-pointers in each of his last five games and scored in double figures in all but two of his last 16 games played.
*George Hill had 17 points (7-8, .875), his most as a Buck, with this being his eight game of the season scoring in double figures.
The Bucks (55-19) welcome the Houston Rockets (46-27) to Fiserv Forum on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.