Giannis scores 33 as Milwaukee picks up their 3rd straight win

The Milwaukee Bucks hit the NBA All-Star break Wednesday night with a 129-125 victory at Brooklyn.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a team-high 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Bucks’ third-straight win.

“It feels great, man,” Antetokounmpo said afterwards. “We’re building momentum right now, so when we come back we’ve got to build on that momentum and keep playing hard.”

The win was far from easy, as Milwaukee saw a 13-point fourth-quarter lead nearly evaporate down the stretch, with the Nets getting to within two with 1:36 left in the game. But then guard Khris Middleton drilled a short jumper and closed things out by hitting four free throws in the final 30 seconds.

“Big time plays by Khris,” Antetokounmpo said. “Khris money, money, money.”

In just his fourth game since returning from a torn hamstring, Middleton scored 20 points and dished out a team-high seven assists in 26 minutes of action.

The Bucks also got 25 points off the bench from center Greg Monroe, which helped to offset a huge night for Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, who scored 36 points and blocked eight shots.

The win gets Milwaukee to 25-30 at the break, leaving them one game behind Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee will return to action a week from Friday when the Utah Jazz come to town.

Monroe leads Bucks past Pistons 102-89

MILWAUKEE — While Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was limited on offense, Greg Monroe picked up the slack in a 102-89 win over the Detroit Pistons Monday night.

Antetokounmpo was held to just eight points in 36 minutes of play, while Monroe came off the bench to provide a team-high 25 points, along with 13 rebounds. It was Milwaukee’s first win streak since Jan. 13 and the team’s second double-digit win since losing Jabari Parker to his second torn ACL to the same knee.

Michael Beasley supplemented Milwaukee’s offensive output with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting, helping build the lead up to as many as 22 points.

”Those two guys crushed us. And then our offense was pathetic,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. ”It was just a miserable night all around.”

Defensively, Milwaukee made progress as well, holding an opponent under 100 points for the first time in 20 games.

Pistons rookie Henry Ellenson was inactive in his first return to Milwaukee since being drafted out of Marquette. He was the No. 18 overall selection by Detroit last summer.

Bucks bust out of slump for 116-100 win over Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS — The Milwaukee Bucks defense was more solid, while the offense was firing in a 116-100 win over the Indiana Pacers Saturday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo just missed out on a triple double, recording 20 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds in the win. Milwaukee’s offense also woke up for a season-high 17 three-pointers.

Malcolm Brogdon, Greg Monroe, and Mirza Teletovic gave the Bucks some depth off the bench, each scoring in the double digits in points. Teletovic was 5-of-9 on three-point attempts, finishing with 19 points. Once Milwaukee got out of the first quarter, it never trailed the remainder of the game.

As a team, the Bucks shot 54.8 percent (17-of-31) from beyond the arc, while limiting their turnovers to just six (the Pacers had 14).

The Bucks host the Pistons Monday night before visiting the Nets entering the All-Star Break.

Antetokounmpo’s career-high 41 not enough in 122-114 loss to Lakers

MILWAUKEE — One day after learning forward Jabari Parker would be gone for the season (torn ACL), the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t muster enough for a comeback, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 122-114.

The night started off on the wrong foot, with Milwaukee allowing a season-high 47 points in the opening quarter. From there, the Bucks tried to battle back the rest of the night, eventually using a 14-0 fourth-quarter run to close the gap to five. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 41 points, adding eight rebounds and six assists in the loss.

”At the end of the day, you just want to win, especially against a team like the Lakers,” Antetokounmpo said. ”They aren’t a playoff team.”

Nick Young led the way for Los Angeles with 26 points, converting on the rare four-point play twice in one night.

”I was thinking, OK, this is one of them nights,” Young said.

It marked the 12th loss in 14 outings for the Bucks, with rookie Thon Maker replacing Parker in the lineup. Maker contributed seven points and six rebounds in 17 minutes of playing time. Khris Middleton came off the bench to play nearly 21 minutes, scoring six points on 2-of-7 shooting.

Middleton won’t make the trip to Indiana Saturday night when they visit the Pacers at 6 p.m.

Timing of Parker injury likely ruins chances of max contract

MILWAUKEE — Adding insult to injury for Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is the reality of what his second torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) means for his next NBA contract.

At just 21 years of age, there’s plenty of basketball ahead for the Duke product, but the fact that Wednesday’s injury occurred to the same knee as two years ago raises questions about Parker’s durability and if he can get back to the same form he started to show this season.

NBA rookies typically sign two-year contracts upon entering the league, with team options for the third and fourth year. Parker is currently on year three of that contract structure, earning a base salary of roughly $5.4 million. Because Milwaukee had already exercised its option for the fourth year, Parker’s next step was to earn a max contract extension.

That now appears to be in doubt.

While the No. 2 overall draft pick of 2014 is scheduled to be owed about $6.8 million next season, he may instead be looking at free agency in the next few months.

A max contract for players with fewer than six years of NBA experience earn either $9 million or 25 percent of the team salary cap, whichever is greater. In Parker’s case, the estimated salary cap for the 2018-19 season is $103 million. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) gives teams 42.14 percent of the NBA’s basketball-related income (BRI), while the 2017 CBA gives teams 44.74 percent. In layman’s terms, the Bucks will have a 2018-19 salary cap of roughly $46.1 million, rather than $43.4 million.

That would have been good news for Parker, who could have made an estimated $11.52 million per year under the new CBA. Under the old terms, he would have maxed out at $10.8 million.

But it all remains to be seen what Milwaukee decides to do with one of the cornerstones of its “Own the Future” movement. Parker ranks second on the team in points per game (20.1), third in total rebounds per game (6.2), and fourth in assists per game (2.8).

Bucks confirm Jabari Parker suffers torn ACL.. again

Milwaukee, WI | Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker has a torn ACL, the team announced Thursday. Parker suffered the same injury to the same knee two years ago during his rookie NBA season.

Parker suffered the left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

In 51 games this season, Parker averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and one steal in 33.9 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 47 times, including 20-plus points in 28 games.

 

 

 

The game itself was another embarrassment for the Bucks who fell 106-88. The Heat toyed with Milwaukee, outscoring them 28-15 in the first quarter and sailed the rest of the night. Hassan Whiteside had 23 points and 16 rebounds for a Miami team that has won 12 straight games.

Meanwhile, it was the 10th loss in the last 12 games for Milwaukee, and it resulted in a closed door meeting between Hammond and coach Jason Kidd, who did not address the media afterwards for the first time this season.

“No effort,” Terry said of the performance. “Could not get multiple stops. In this league you have to get stops, and we just did not put in the effort to get that done (Wednesday night).”

The loss dropped Milwaukee to seven games below .500 (22-29) and left them wondering what could go wrong next.

“When it rains it pours,” Henson said. “We got to fight our way out of this hole. It’s going to take a team effort. I think we’ll be fine.”

Milwaukee will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, followed by a trip to Indiana on Saturday.

Bucks to announce D-League details on Wednesday

OSHKOSH, Wis. — The Milwaukee Bucks are set to make an announcement regarding their future NBA D-League team Wednesday in Oshkosh, reports WBAY-TV.

Oshkosh is one of the three finalist cities team president Peter Feigin alluded to during an interview on The Neighborhood late last summer. While no potential team names were mentioned at that time, Feigin said they would take the process seriously. Other cities being considered are Sheboygan and Racine.

The announcement is expected to include details about the construction of a new arena to house the franchise. The WBAY report says Oshkosh investors are proposing a $15 million, privately-funded arena that would seat about 3,500 fans for D-League games, while doubling as a concert venue holding 4,000 people. Construction is expected to begin next month.

Feigin told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network that a determining factor for which city would house the D-league team would have to bring “attendance, an in-bred fan base, and the financial support…A lot of it is who the partnership group is and then what the excitement, and the activity, and the pre-sales are.”

Milwaukee has been among just a handful of NBA teams without an affiliate, relying upon the league’s “flexible assignment rule” when sending players to the Development League to build up their skills. If everything goes as planned, the Bucks would become the 25th of 30 NBA teams to have its own affiliate.

Khris Middleton cleared to return from hamstring injury on Wednesday

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have lost 10 of their last 11 games but will get a morale boost on Wednesday night with the return of Khris Middleton, who’s been recovering from a ruptured hamstring suffered in the preseason.

During the broadcast of Friday night’s 121-117 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Middleton told Fox Sports Wisconsin he’d been medically cleared to return to game action, having missed the first 50 games of the season. It was reported on Jan. 6 that Middleton could return prior to the All-Star break, initially thought to be an injury that would keep him out the entire season.

“It’s possible,” Middleton said last month in regard to a possible February return. “That’s if everything goes right, with no setbacks and a good, long stretch of practices. Still a long way to go but I’m working towards it.”

The fifth-year forward averaged 18.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds last year. His return could not only provide another consistent scorer alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, but it could help Milwaukee claw its way back into the playoff picture, currently 2.5 games and three spots back from the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

It’s unclear exactly how much Middleton would play in his season debut. He’ll make his return Feb. 8 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee when they host the Miami Heat at 7 p.m.

Bucks fall 104-88 at Utah, their ninth loss in the last 10 games

The Milwaukee Bucks season continued its downward spiral Wednesday night with a 104-88 loss to Utah.

The game was essentially decided in the second quarter, when the Jazz outscored Milwaukee 31-16 to take an 18-point lead at the half, sending the Bucks on their way to a ninth loss in the last 10 games.

Despite facing a battered Utah team, Milwaukee had no answer for stars Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, with the duo combining for 53 points, with Gobert also adding 15 rebounds.

That effort was in stark contrast to that of the Bucks big-time players — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. In what was one of his worst performances of the season, Antetokounmpo had just nine points on 2 of 10 shooting in 39 minutes of action. Parker, meanwhile added 17 points and seven rebounds.

The loss left Milwaukee a season-high six games under .500 at 21-27. A short three-game road trip continues Friday night at Denver.

Rally falls short as Bucks fall to Celtics in overtime 112-108

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks closed a 69-53 gap late in the third quarter, but ultimately fell in overtime to the Boston Celtics Saturday night 112-108.

Greg Monroe scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, adding 13 rebounds in his role off the bench. Giannis Antetokounmpo gave the Bucks 21 hard-earned points, but Milwaukee couldn’t overcome a 42-27 score after the first quarter of action.

Isaiah Thomas provided 37 points for the Celtics, scoring at least 20 points for the 31st game in a row. Former Marquette standout Jae Crowder sealed the win for Boston with four clutch free throws in the final 28 seconds of overtime.

”It’s always special when I come here and we get a win,” Crowder said. ”I see a lot of familiar faces around the building, including the ushers, stuff like that. It’s always a great feeling to come back.”

Rookie Thon Maker got his second career start Saturday night, replacing Miles Plumlee and providing the team with four points and two rebounds in 10 minutes of action.