Nets 133, Bucks 128: Last Word

MILWAUKEE | Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks fell short at home against the Brooklyn Nets 133-128.

Player of the game: Eric Bledsoe

Despite the loss, Bledsoe was the best player on the floor Saturday. He finished with a game-high and his season-high 33 points, 11 assists and four rebounds. He was big down the stretch as well scoring nine points in the fourth quarter.

Play of the game: Middle-dime

Khris Middleton isn’t known for his play-making abilities but perhaps, he should be. He’s made some incredible passes during a season that he’s averaging a career-high in assists (4.3). Also, what was impressive about this play was how it started. Middleton was able to strip all-star D’Angelo Russell to start the fast-break.

The good: The fight

I’m not one for moral victories and this Bucks’ team certainly doesn’t need any but the way they battled back after being down 12 points at the start of the final frame was impressive. Never giving up has been a common theme for Milwaukee this season but to see it in a game they had nothing to play for against a team that is fighting for the playoffs is motivating.

I’m bored of the regular season and want to watch post-season basketball, but I was glued to the edge of my seat witnessing this finish. Nets’ guard Joe Harris spoke about the importance of the win.

Given the circumstances, playoff position and where everybody is at, it’s arguably one of our biggest wins of the season.

The not so good: The defense

Milwaukee gave up 133 points to a team that averages 112 points per game which is good for 15th in the NBA. They had trouble early on slowing down Russell who poured in 12 points (5-5 FG) in the first quarter.

Stat of the game: 12

Brooklyn crashed the offensive boards grabbing 12 of them leading to 14 second-chance points. Budenholzer said they allowed too many second-chance opportunities down the stretch. Net’s head coach Kenny Atkinson spoke about the team’s rebounding and doing the little things down the stretch.

That’s been an Achilles heel for us. I thought tonight we were excellent. On the offensive glass we got a bunch of big ones. I think the things we were missing against Toronto and the last Milwaukee game was that. Making those important winning plays. [Treveon Graham] got a big offensive rebound that helped us out. Huge plays, so many huge plays I can’t even remember them all. Guys stepped up big time.

What they said:

Budenholzer on the loss

Tough game today. A lot of credit to Brooklyn. A couple of guys shot it really well. [Caris] LeVert really stands out making a lot of threes. D’Angelo Russell to start the game making a lot of threes. I think we need to finish some of our defensive possessions. It was a problem a week ago when we played them and again tonight. There were too many second-chance opportunities down the stretch. It was a close game. We have to find a way to come up with those boards and I think we outshot them. We did a lot of things where we had the advantage, but the offensive boards were the difference, especially late.

D.J. Wilson on if the team would take great pride in getting 60 wins

I think that’s a great thing to accomplish. We secured the number one seed, but we want to get as many wins as we can, so hopefully we can get these next two games.

In case you missed it:

*Milwaukee has now knocked down 1,081 three-pointers this season. The Bucks’ 1,081 three-pointers now rank fourth for most three-pointers made in a season in NBA history.

*This was the Bucks’ 26th game shooting 50% or better this season. Milwaukee has outshot its opponent 58 times this year.

*Bledsoe scored a season-high 33 points (12-17 FG, 5-6 3PT). He also dished out 11 assists for his eighth double-double of the season.

*Middleton tallied his 29th game of the season scoring 20+ points as he finished the night with 24 points. Middleton has now scored 20+ points in his last three games played.

*George Hill scored 14 points (5-8 FG). Hill has now scored in double figures in his last four games played.

What’s next?

The Bucks (59-21) host the Atlanta Hawks (21-59) on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00pm.

Bucks’ legend Sidney Moncrief reportedly inducted into HOF

The Milwaukee Bucks have had a terrific season so far. They clinched the NBA’s best record on Thursday with a 128-122 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Now, a part of their history is being honored.

Bucks’ legend Sidney Moncrief will join Bobby Jones, Paul Westphal, Vlade Divac, Al Attles and Chuck Cooper in the 2019 class to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

There will be a formal announcement on Saturday at the site of the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis.

Moncrief played 10 of his 11 seasons in Milwaukee, averaging 15.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals. He was a five-time All-Star, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and was chosen five times to an All-NBA team.

Finalists’ Marques Johnson, Chris Webber and Ben Wallace were not selected for enshrinement.

Bucks clinch best record, home court advantage throughout the playoffs

The Milwaukee Bucks have clinched the best record in the NBA.

Coach Mike Budenholzer’s club did so by going to Philadelphia and beating the 76ers 128-122 Thursday night.

As has been the case nearly every game this season, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the best player on the court. The frontrunner for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award had 45 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and five blocks. In doing so, he became the first player since Michael Jordan to put up those numbers and not have a single turnover.

“That felt like a statement,” Budenholzer said of his star’s game. “He’s an MVP in our eyes.”

While Antetokounmpo will deservedly get the headlines, Milwaukee doesn’t win the game without guard George Hill’s contribution. Forced into playing more than normal after Eric Bledsoe was ejected early in the first quarter for a dust up with Sixers’ center Joel Embiid, Hill came alive down the stretch. Trailing by four with less than two minutes left, Hill went on a mini 7 to 1 run to give Milwaukee the lead.

“It was just a next man up mentality,” Hill said of effort. “Since I’ve been here, this team has been resilient in situations like that when guys are either out with injuries or guys not playing well or (other) things happen. We’ve been able to find ways to win by other guys stepping up and just having that next man up mentality.”

Hill finished with 20 points, while forward Khris Middleton added 22.

Embiid finished with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to lead the way for Philadelphia, while J.J. Redick had 29 and Mike Scott had 22.

The Bucks moved to 59-20 on the year and guaranteed themselves home court advantage for as long as they remain in the playoffs.

Milwaukee will now head home for the final three games of the regular season, with Brooklyn being the first to visit Fiserv Forum on Saturday.

Deer Milwaukee: April 2, 2019

On this week’s episode of Deer Milwaukee, Cody Grant shared his thoughts on why he believes the Milwaukee Bucks get plenty of respect from the national media. Plus, he shared his thoughts on who he most wants to see the Bucks play in the playoffs. Also, Gabe Stoltz of Brew Hoop stopped by to talk about the games this past week and the MVP conversation between Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden.

1:46 | The Bucks and the national media

15:04 | Gabe Stoltz of Brew Hoop

31:16 | Who are you most looking forward to seeing the Bucks play in the playoffs?

Subscribe:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

Bucks’ Khris Middleton nominated for Twyman-Stokes Award

Milwaukee Bucks’ All-Star Khris Middleton has been a key piece to the success of the team this year. He has sacrificed part of his individual game for the better of the team. Now, he is getting recognized for the teammate that he is.

Middleton has been named one of the 12 finalists for this year’s Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award.

The award recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team.

The winner will be announced on June 24 during the NBA Awards show.

Bucks’ magic number at one after 131-121 win over Nets

Who would’ve thought before this season started that the best record in the NBA would belong to Milwaukee?

The Bucks’ magic number to clinch the best record in the NBA is down to one with four games to go. Giannis Antetokounmpo returned after missing Sunday’s game in Atlanta to help Milwaukee defeat the Nets in Brooklyn 131-121.

With their next win, or a Toronto Raptors loss, the Bucks will earn home-court advantage throughout the postseason.

Eric Bledsoe came up big dropping a game-high 29 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Giannis got off to a slow start but finished strong with 28 points and 11 rebounds. 14 of his 28 came in the fourth quarter.

D’Angelo Russell scored 28 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for the Nets. Brooklyn’s Caris Levert played a big role as well finishing with 24 points, four boards and six dimes.

Next up, the Bucks (58-20) will play the 76ers (49-28) in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Bucks fall to Hawks in OT 136-135

No Giannis Antetokounmpo, no Khris Middleton and no Eric Bledsoe in the lineup when the Bucks tipped off at 11:30am Sunday morning in Atlanta. The back-ups performed well in their opportunity.

Milwaukee got off to a hot start knocking down threes leading to a 43-26 first quarter lead. Atlanta answered in the second quarter to make it 71-68 at the half. It was a back-and-forth game the rest of the way until Trae Young put the Bucks away in overtime at the buzzer.

Sterling Brown had a career-high 27 points to go along with his nine rebounds and three assists. Point guard Tim Frazier got a chance to start and he responded with 20 points and 15 assists while playing a staggering 53 minutes. Bonzie Colson chipped in 15 points and 16 rebounds in his first crack in the starting lineup.

Rookie phenom, Young struggled from the floor finishing with just 12 points (4-18 FG) but nailed two big shots down the stretch in overtime. John Collins finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bucks and Hawks combined to shoot an NBA-record 116 three-pointers. Milwaukee went 17-55 (30.9%) from beyond the arc and Atlanta was 22-61 (36.1%) from deep.

Next up, the Bucks travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets Monday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30pm.

Bucks 128, Clippers 118: Last Word

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Bucks cut their magic number to clinch the number one overall seed to two with a 128-118 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night.

Player of the game: Khris Middleton

Middleton scored a season-high 39 points, shooting 16-for-24 (66%) and hitting four of his seven three-point attempts. This is Middleton’s fifth game of his career scoring 35+ points and his third 30-point game of the season. Sometimes, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Middleton may be the second most important player on this team because of his ability to score, be a playmaker and defend. This is the perfect time for him to find his rhythm as the playoffs get closer. Head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke about his performance.

I think he had a lot of things going. I think the way he got to the basket and finished there just sets up a whole lot of the rest of his game. [He] made a handful of threes, got to the free throw line a little bit, just overall a great game by him.

Play of the game: Behind the back dime

We’ve seen plenty of incredible assists from the Bucks this season, but this may be at the top of the list. Eric Bledsoe didn’t have a great scoring night (15 points) but had 8 helpers. This one was by far his best of the contest.

The good: Sterling Brown

Brown scored a career-high-tying 15 points (6-10 FG, 3-6 3FG). Brown has now scored in double figures in two of his last three games. He has been good since his return to the rotation. Now, finding minutes in the starting rotation he’s been able to showcase his shooting and defense. Middleton shared his thoughts on Brown after the game.

He’s been huge all year for us. His defense really, his intensity. He gets after the other guards on the other teams. We live with some of those fouls because it’s just him being aggressive, him getting to people’s minds and just forcing them to do things they don’t want to do. It’s good to see him out here now fighting for minutes, now starting with a couple of guys down, hopefully he keeps it going.

The not so good: Giannis scares Fiserv

Giannis has been fighting through a right ankle injury over the last few weeks. However, sitting out for a game or two may be what’s best for the Greek Freak going forward. He scored 34 points and hauled in nine rebounds before having to exit the game in the fourth quarter after reaggravating his ankle. Giannis went to the floor and grabbed his right ankle after dunking with 7:46 left in the game. He stood up under his own power but had to limp towards the sideline. He did not return.

Budenholzer talked about the plan for Giannis moving forward.

I think we all are hoping he can push through and be healthy going forward. We’ll see how he’s feeling after tonight and either bring out the bubble wrap or keep playing.

Stat of the game: 73

Middleton (39) and Giannis (34) combined for 73 of the team’s 128 points. This was just the second time this season the Bucks have had multiple players score 30+ points in a game (10/22 vs NYK, Antetokounmpo, 31; Middleton, 30). The Bucks are tough to beat when Giannis is on his game but when the second all-star is rolling as well, look out.

What they said:

Budenholzer on the win

I think the second quarter stood out. We were able to kinda get quite a bit of separation and just kind of weather the storm in the second half.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on the game

I thought we had chances. We started out great in the first quarter. Once the ball stopped moving and you slow the game down against them, they’re just so long. Overall, I liked how we fought.

In case you missed it:

*The Bucks improve their NBA-best record to 57-19 and their league best home record to 32-6. Milwaukee is now a season-high 38 games over .500 for the first time since the 1980-81 season, when it finished with a 60-22 record.

*Milwaukee improved to 24-1 when shooting 50% or better. The Bucks have outshot their opponent 56 times this season and are 54-2 when doing so.

*The 10-point win over the Clippers was Milwaukee’s NBA-high 44th double-digit victory of the season and its 15th win by 10+ points over a team with a .500 or better record. The Bucks have now beaten their last four opponents by double-figures.

What’s next?

The Bucks (57-19) go on the road to play the Hawks (27-48) in Atlanta on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30am.

Bucks to play in Paris

The Milwaukee Bucks are heading overseas.

It was announced Thursday that the club would travel to France next season to play the Charlotte Hornets. The game will take place in Paris on Jan. 24, 2020 at AccorHotels Arena.

“On behalf of my teammates, we’re very excited for the chance to represent Milwaukee and the Bucks on the world stage,” Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said in a press release. “The opportunity to play in the first-ever regular season game in Paris is truly an honor, and as an international player, I’m grateful to the NBA for continuing to grow the game of basketball across the globe.”

It will be the first regular season NBA game in France and Milwaukee’s second in Europe. The club went to London in the 2014-15 season to play the New York Knicks.

“We are honored to be selected to play in the NBA’s first-ever regular season game in Paris,” Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said. “Playing in one of the great cities in Europe continues our goal to extend the global brand of the Bucks. We will be proud to represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin in Paris and we thank the NBA for this exciting opportunity.”

Bucks’ DiVincenzo (foot) out for season

Injuries have come in bunches for the Milwaukee Bucks as of late. The latest to plague the deer is rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo. He’s out for the season due to bilateral heel bursitis in his right foot, league sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

DiVincenzo will undergo a biologic injection at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Then, it’s all about rest and rehabilitation. He is expected to make a full recovery in the off-season.

The 22-year-old has shown plenty of promise in his rookie season appearing in 27 games and averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.2 minutes per game.

There have been plenty of fun moments this season for DiVincenzo.

Milwaukee has lost guard Malcolm Brogdon, Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol and Tony Snell to injuries.