Milwaukee Bucks fall to Bulls 115-106

The Milwaukee Bucks dropped their second consecutive game on Tuesday night by a score of 115-106 to the Chicago Bulls.

Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points. He added in seven rebounds and four assists on the night as well. Guard Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points for the Bucks while collecting five rebounds and six assists, and forward Khris Middleton scored 16 points on a very inefficient 5-of-18 shooting.

The Bulls were led by forward Nikola Mirotic. He scored 24 points in 28 minutes off the bench for Chicago. The Bulls are now 8-2 since Mirotic returned from multiple facial fractures as a result of a preseason fight with teammate Bobby Portis.

Chicago had five players reach double-players in scoring, including guard Kris Dunn who finished with 20 points and 12 assists on the night.

This is the second time in the past 11 days the Bucks and Bulls have met on the hardwood, with Chicago winning both matchups in Milwaukee.

With Antetokounmpo scoring 28 points it gives him 22 consecutive games of scoring over 20 points. That moves him into second place in Bucks history for most consecutive 20-point games. Kareem Abdul-Jabaar holds the franchise record. He strung together 39 consecutive 20-point games between November of 1974 and February of 1975.

The Bucks will return to action on Thursday night at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bucks fall to Hornets 111-106

The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Charlotte Hornets 111-106 on the road Saturday night. Milwaukee was without star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo missed the game with a sore right knee.

In Antetokounmpo’s absence the Bucks were led in scoring by forward Khris Middleton and guard Eric Bledsoe. They had 31 and 16, respectively. Center John Henson also had 16 points on the night.

The Bucks opened the second half on a 19-2 run to lead the Hornets by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, but they allowed the Hornets back into the game with a 17-6 run of their own. Charlotte was lead by Dwight Howard who had 21 points and 16 rebounds. Howard left Friday night’s game against Milwaukee with a dislocated ring finger on his left hand.

The Hornets put six players in double-figures, with three of them coming off of the bench. Frank Kaminsky and Treveon Graham each had 14 points as reserves and Jeremy Lamb has 13.

Guard Kemba Walker scored 19 points and had eight assists for Charlotte. He, like Howard, also left Friday night’s game. Walker hit his head on the floor with less than 2 minutes remaining and was checked for a concussion.

The Bucks will return to action on Tuesday night when they host the Chicago Bulls.

Bucks 109, Hornets 104: Last shots

Milwaukee — The Milwaukee Bucks knocked off the Charlotte Hornets 109-104 on Friday night thanks to 78 combined points from Eric Bledsoe, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton.

Twelve last shots for Middleton’s 12 made field goals.

1. After beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last outing on Tuesday night, Milwaukee was potentially staring down a trap game against the Hornets. It almost happened. The Bucks trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before coming back.

2. That comeback was helped out by the fact that Charlotte guard Kemba Walker had to exit the game with less than 2 minutes remaining after hitting his head on the floor following a turnover. The team announced that he was evaluated by a physician and did not exhibit signs of a concussion following the game and will be re-evaluated in Charlotte on Saturday.

3. The Hornets were leading Milwaukee 104-102 when Walker attempted to drive down the right side of the lane before losing the ball. He then dove for the ball and smacked his head on the ground. Bledsoe recovered the ball, pushed it up the floor, and a pass from Antetokounmpo led to a game-tying dunk from Middleton. Walker subbed out with 1:42 left on the clock, and Charlotte was out of sorts for the remainder of the game.

4. The reasoning for Charlotte looking as discombobulated as they did offensively down the stretch was in part due to the absence of Walker, their best player, but also a swarming Bucks defense. The Hornets were unable to score in the final 2:28 of the game and Milwaukee closed on a 9-0 run. After Walker exited the Hornets went 0-3 from the floor and durned the ball over once on their four possessions. Before Walker exited he had a game-high 32 points for the Hornets.

5. At that point, the game flipped and Milwaukee looked more like the team that faced the Cavaliers than the team that struggled with a Charlotte team that’s now 10 games below .500 on the season. The Bucks have struggled to play consistent basketball during the season. The win over Cleveland was one that felt like it would build momentum for the young team. Maybe it has, as this is the type of game the Bucks have struggled to come back in throughout the season.

6. Milwaukee has been consistent in the fact that when Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe, and Middleton all score 20 or more points they’re unbeaten. This win moves them to 5-0 on the season. That trio is only going to get better as they gather more on-court time together. The key to it all may be Middleton. His consistency hasn’t always been there, but he fits much better as a third option as opposed to a second scorer.

7. Offensively, the Bucks have been playing really well as of late. The victory over Charlotte marked the 14th consecutive game that they’ve scored over 100 points. That makes this the longest such streak since January 30 through March 18 of 1987 when they strung together 22 games.

8. Middleton saw a considerable amount of minutes playing center against the Hornets on Friday night as well. Hornets center Dwight Howard leaving the game after only playing the first 4:36 with a dislocated ring finger on his left hand. With the absence of Howard, the Hornets were forced to play smaller for much of the night. That meant Milwaukee’s counter was Middleton at center, as well as Antetokounmpo for stretches.

9. “We didn’t deal with it well. He went out in the first quarter and they still had the lead for the majority of the first and the second half,” said Middleton of the lineup used to combat Howard’s injury. “We just have to do a better job of playing our basketball and not playing to the level of our competition.”

10. Middleton makes a valid point about playing to the level of their competition. On Tuesday night against the Cavs they played one of their best games of the season. Friday night against Charlotte was an entirely different story. That’s something young teams often struggle with. The Bucks aren’t a typical young team, however, they have a legitimate MVP candidate in Antetokounmpo and have the ability to become a championship contender in the coming years. Slip ups in games like this happen, but it’s something the Bucks need to work to eliminate. A loss to a below average team early in the season could be looked back at later in the season as to why they’re opening a playoff series on the road as opposed to in Milwaukee.

11. “We’ve been in a lot of close games this season,” coach Jason Kidd said. “This was a tough game. [There were] a lot of emotions in that last game [against Cleveland].”

12. The Bucks have a chance to take two in a row from the Hornets on Saturday. These teams square off for the second night of a home-and-home matchup in Charlotte.

Bucks beat Cavaliers 119-116

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-116 on Tuesday night to get back in the win column after three consecutive losses.

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points, including an important and-1 in the final minute of the game to give the Bucks a 5-point cushion. Antetokounmpo also had 13 rebounds and eight assists on the night. Milwaukee also received a strong scoring effort from Eric Bledsoe with 26 points. In total, the Bucks had five players score 15 or more points.

Milwaukee did lead by as many as 20 points during the game, but the Cavaliers were able to erase that lead during the final period, climbing all the way back to take the lead with roughly 4 minutes remaining.

LeBron James led all scorers with 39 points on the evening. He also dished out seven assists for the Cavaliers.

The Bucks more to 16-13 with the win. They will return to action on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets at home.

Bucks fall to Rockets on the road 115-111

The Milwaukee Bucks have now lost three consecutive games after falling to the Houston Rockets 115-111 on Saturday night in Houston.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a team-high 28 points and Khris Middleton added in 23 for the Bucks. James Harden had 31 points for Houston and Chris Paul had 25. In total, the Rockets had six players reach double-figures in scoring in Houston’s 13th consecutive win.

Milwaukee trailed by 11 points with under six minutes remaining before being able to cut the lead down to four late, but they couldn’t break through to finish the game off.

The Bucks return home on Tuesday to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third time this season.

Last Shots: Bulls 115, Bucks 109

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Bucks lost their second game in a row Friday night to the Chicago Bulls 115-109. Forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were the leading scorers with 29 points each.

The Bucks were shorthanded on the night, only dressing 11 players. All 11 saw time on the court in the first half as well.

Sixteen last shots for the 16 rebounds hauled in by Antetokounmpo in the loss.

1. The Bulls entered the game having won their last four games. That winning streak coincided with forward Nikola Mirotic returning from facial fractures sustained during a fight with teammate Bobby Portis during preseason training camp.

2. For much of the season, Chicago had been one of the worst teams in the NBA. They started off the season with a 3-20 record. They’re still one of the lesser teams in the league strictly on a talent basis, but they’re playing much better basketball now than they have all season.

3. Milwaukee had been hot as of late as well. The Bucks dropped their previous game against New Orleans on Wednesday night, but had won 6-of-7 prior to that. It seemed as if the Bucks were really finding their stride and becoming acclimated to Eric Bledsoe’s game.

4. Antetokounmpo continues to establish himself as an MVP candidate. He had 29 points and 16 rebounds against the Bulls. There are still areas where he needs to improve his game in order to get to the next level of stardom. An area where he has significant room for growth is his 3-point shooting. Antetokounmpo was 1-of-3 behind the arc against the Bulls, but the effect it has isn’t one that necessarily shows up on the stat sheet on a nightly basis.

5. Right now, Antetokounmpo has to deal with more defensive players closer to the rim and his teammates don’t have the necessary room to operate at times. It’s easier for the opposition to disrupt the flow of Milwaukee’s offense. That was something that the Bucks struggled with against the Bulls, specifically guard Malcolm Brogdon and Bledsoe.

6. Brogdon and Bledsoe both struggled to find a rhythm offensively. They combined for 18 points on 8-of-25 shooting. The tandem also turned in a 1-for-9 night from behind the 3-point arc. Bledsoe had five turnovers as well.

7. “Honestly, it was just one of those nights for me and Eric [Bledsoe],” Brogdon said. “We were out of rhythm. I didn’t think they did a specifically good job on us, there’s just games where you’re out of rhythm. It happens.”

8. When Antetokounmpo does develop that shot from distance he’ll become nearly impossible for opposing defenses to deal with. Until then, he’s going to have less room to operate because defenders will be able to sag off him when he’s in possession above the 3-point line.

9. The Bucks still managed to find plenty of open looks throughout the night that didn’t go down. One of the more oft used clichés in the NBA is that it’s a make or miss league. That was the case on Friday night.

10. As a team, the Bucks shot 48% from the field, which is considered a good offensive night. Their struggle came from deep where they shot 27% from long distance. They also shot 69% from the free throw line.

11. “We just have to keep shooting,” coach Jason Kidd said. “You have to believe the next one is going in. We had a lot of wide open shots that just didn’t go down for us tonight and you have to play perfect when you are down, defensively and offensively. We couldn’t get stops, nor could we make open shots tonight.”

12. On the defensive end, the Bucks had trouble stopping the one-two punch of Portis and Mirotic. They had 27 and 22 points, respectively to lead Chicago. Since Mirotic returned to the floor from injury they’ve been one of the best two player combinations in the NBA. In the 10 minutes those two were on the floor together against Milwaukee the Bulls outscored the Bucks by seven. The Bulls also shot 60% and reached the free throw line 13 times in that stretch.

13. “Wow, it’s been crazy to be honest,” said Mirotic on the duo of he and Portis being as effective as they have been. “We did play last year a little bit together, but it is not the same now. We both step up and I think we learn how to play with each other during the game. We need to give credit to Fred [Hoiberg] for that. Fred [Hoiberg] is the one who is putting us in the right spots. Right now, we are both playing some minutes together because it’s working. The team is playing well. From my side, I’m just wishing that we continue what is the best for the team.”

14. Typically, this would be a non-story if it were the case with 99% of potential two-man combinations on NBA rosters currently. What makes this so odd is the incident that happened during the preseason. Portis punched Mirotic in the face during an altercation during a preseason practice and caused him to miss the first 23 games of the season with two fractures in his face. Portis was suspended for eight games for his actions.

15. After the game Mirotic said that they communicate on the floor but still haven’t talked off of it. That alone makes it one of the stranger stories in basketball.

16. The Bucks hit the road for the second night of a back-to-back tomorrow in Houston. The Rockets beat the Spurs on Friday night at home. They’re sporting the best record in basketball and have won their last 12 games.

Milwaukee Bucks fall to Pelicans 115-108

The Milwaukee Bucks (15-11) lost to the New Orleans Pelicans (15-14) 115-108 on Wednesday night on the road. Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and collected nine rebounds but Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 51 points and 23 rebounds for New Orleans to lead them to victory.

The Bucks three-game winning streak was snapped. Milwaukee had entered the game having won six games in their last seven tries.

Milwaukee had four other players join Antetokounmpo in double-figures. Eric Bledsoe and John Henson each had 14 points, Khris Middleton scored 15, and Malcolm Brogdon added in 11 off the bench for Milwaukee.

New Orleans received a 21-point effort from guard E’Twaun Moore to bolster what Cousins and Davis were able to do in the interior throughout the night. Guard Jrue Holiday added in 16 points and eight assists as well for the Pelicans.

The Bucks return to action on Friday night when the Chicago Bulls come to town. Tipoff is at 7pm.

Bucks beat Pistons 104-100

The Milwaukee Bucks saw their three game winning streak snapped against the Boston Celtics on Monday night. Wednesday night they got back in the win column with a 104-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons at home.

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpko was the leading scorer for the Bucks with 25 points to go with 10 rebounds. Most nights Antetokounmpo hasn’t gotten the necessary help from teammates, but against Detroit that wasn’t the case. Guard Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points and forward Khris Middleton added in 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

The Bucks held a 60-51 lead at halftime, but squandered that in the third quarter where Detroit outscored them 25-16 to tie the game heading into the final quarter. The Pistons did have the game’s leading scorer in Andre Drummond. He had 27 points and 20 rebounds on the night.

Milwaukee jumped back out in front to start the fourth quarter thanks to a 14-1 run. Detroit staged another comeback, pulling the game as close as 97-94 following a Reggie Jackson jump-shot, but Milwaukee withstood the run and was able to hang on for the win.

The win moves Milwaukee to 13-10 on the season. The Pistons have now lost four games in a row and are 14-10 overall.

The Bucks are back in action on Friday night when the Dallas Mavericks come to Milwaukee. Tip-off is at 7PM.

Milwaukee falls to Boston 111-100

The Milwaukee Bucks saw their three-game winning streak snapped by the Boston Celtics on Monday night. Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and rookie Jason Tatum combined for 69 points as the Celtics beat the Bucks 111-100 in Boston.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 40 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in the loss. Milwaukee had four starters in double-figures in scoring, but their bench was outscored by Boston’s 24-12.

Guard Eric Bledsoe had 18 points in the loss and forward Khris Middleton had 19 points and eight rebounds.

Irving led the way for the Celtics, he finished the night with 32 points on 13-of-24 from the floor. Horford nearly had a triple-double, totaling 20 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists for Boston.

The Celtics have now won five of their last six games and improve to an NBA-best 21-4 on the season. Milwaukee drops to 12-10 overall with the loss.

The Bucks return to action Wednesday night when the Detroit Pistons make their final regular season appearance at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Milwaukee Bucks beat Kings 112-87

The Milwaukee Bucks were able to collect their second win on the team’s current west coast road trip 112-87 over the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night. The win boosts them back above the .500 mark, at 10-9 on the season.

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 32 points on a very efficient 11-of-16 shooting from the field. This was Antetokounmpo’s eighth game of 30 or more points. Guard Eric Bledsoe chipped in 21 points in the win on seven-of-10 from the floor. Forward Khris Middleton also reached double-figures, scoring 12 points for Milwaukee.

Defensively, the Bucks were stout, holding the Kings to 40.3% shooting from the floor, including a 29.4% mark from three-point range.

Milwaukee wraps up a four-game west coast trip on Thursday night in Portland against the Trailblazers. The team will then return home for a rematch with Sacramento on Saturday in Milwaukee.