Bucks 140, Timberwolves 128: Last word

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Bucks turned on the gas in the fourth quarter to take down the Timberwolves 140-128.

Player of the Game: Khris Middleton

The Bucks’ second all-star took over in the second-half scoring 20 of his 28 in the final two quarters. Middleton added seven rebounds, three assists and knocked down four three-pointers. This is the kind of game that proves the “Max for Middleton” crowd’s argument that he deserves a max-contract offer from the Bucks this summer. He was key for Milwaukee to come away with the win Saturday night. Head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke about Middleton’s third-quarter.

We needed him to get hot and that was a huge stretch. When he starts popping two and three in a row it just changes the momentum, it was great for us to see that happen.

Play of the Game: Lopez puts Saric on a poster

This dunk rendered me speechless…

The Good: The finish

Milwaukee trailed Minnesota 109-107 after three quarters. They outscored the T-Wolves 33-19 in the final frame. The Bucks have proven all season they can “flip a switch” like what we see the Golden State Warriors do. Some games they allow a lesser opponent to hang around until they hit another gear and sprint to the finish line. You would like to see them play with the same focus and energy for 48 minutes. However, championship-level teams have another level they can take their game. The Bucks can hit another level and they’ll need to in the playoffs.

The not so Good: Defense (for the first three quarters)

The defense just wasn’t there Saturday for the Bucks. They allowed Minnesota to shoot 49% from the field and 46.2% from beyond the arc. Budenholzer was upset about the defensive effort and for good reason.

Not very happy with our defense but credit to our guys for finding a way to have a [pretty] decent defensive fourth quarter and make enough plays to win a game, but certainly not our best tonight.

It’s a good thing that the Bucks are terrific offensively. Milwaukee leads the NBA in opponent field goal percentage. They allow just 43% shooting per game. All that matters are wins and they got the win. What makes this team so dangerous is the fact they can win a variety of different ways.

The weird: Giannis gets stuffed

Anthony Tolliver? Really?

You just don’t see that every day. Giannis issued a warning to Tolliver next time he sees him.

That was a great play by him. Hopefully | I’m not going to see him this year, probably next year. I hope next year he’s not underneath the basket because I’m going to make sure the next time I get it done.

Stat of the Game: 140

Milwaukee reached 140 points for the fifth time this season.

Middleton said he attributes the scoring to the pace and the threes.

In Case You Missed It:

*The Bucks improve their NBA-best record to 45-14 and have now won 10 of their last 11 games. Milwaukee is 25-5 at home this season, which ties Toronto for the second-best home record in the league.

*The Bucks have surpassed last season’s win total of 44.

*Giannis tallied his NBA-high 29th game of the season with 25+ points on 50% shooting and 10 or more rebounds.

*Nikola Mirotic recorded his first double-figure scoring game with the Bucks as he scored 17 points (7-11 FG, 3-6 3FG) and grabbed six rebounds.

What’s next?

The Bucks (45-14) begin a five-game road-trip beginning in Chicago when the meet the Bulls (16-44) Monday night.