The Bucks took on the 2-4 Sacramento Kings tonight as they tried to make it three wins in a row.
Milwaukee’s starting lineup was:
The Kings’ starters were:
Giannis kicked off the scoring for the Bucks as they started the game on an 8-2 run. By midway through the opening quarter, the Bucks were up 14-11 on the strength of 6 points, 4 assists, 3 rebound, a block and a steal by Giannis in 6 minutes! Although the Kings were able to get within a point, the Bucks did not trail all first quarter. Mirza Teletovic hit three straight 3-pointers late in the first (and went 4-4 from distance for 13 points in the quarter) to help the Bucks to a 34-24 lead after 12 minutes.
Greg Monroe opened the scoring in the second quarter to continue Milwaukee’s great start as the Bucks soon found themselves with a 15-point advantage. From that point on, the Bucks were basically off to the races with another blowout in the works as the Kings could not find a way to trim Milwaukee’s lead to single digits until there were just a few minutes left in the half. Even then, the Kings were only able to get the lead down to 9 before Tony Snell hit a nice 3 to kill the rally, as he has already done so many times in this young season. By the time halftime rolled around, the Bucks had extended their lead back up to 61-48 thanks in part to consecutive Giannis-to-Jabari dunk feeds.
Ty Lawson kicked off the scoring for the Kings in the second half by making 1/2 free throws, then both teams spent the next few minutes missing a bunch of shots. Luckily, a Delly 3 snapped this streak and the Bucks were again well on their way to another big win. By midway through the third, the Bucks were up by 20 and a few short minutes later they were up by 31 thanks to a 16-0 run. By the time they were going into the fourth quarter, the Bucks were basically in cruise control with a huge 90-63 lead.
Garrett Temple nailed a 3 at the beginning of the final quarter for the Kings, but the Bucks did not allow them back into the game as they responded with a quick 5 points. The Kings did not get within 20 points the rest of the way as Teletovic and Rashad Vaughn just kept draining 3s. Milwaukee could have eased up a bit based on how big their lead was, but they kept pushing until the final buzzer to ensure Sacramento didn’t get any ideas. This determination paid off, and the Bucks ended up blowing the Kings out at home, 117-91.
Three Big Things
Mirza Teletovic – Teletovic has shot well from beyond the arc so far this season, but he took it to another level tonight as he hit his first five 3s. In fact, he had 16 points in his first 8 minutes to help the Bucks jump out to a big lead early. He ended the game with 22 points and was the biggest part of Milwaukee’s big night from distance as they shot 14/33 (good for 42%, secondarily led by Rashad Vaughn’s 4/8 from beyond the arc). This is what he was brought to Milwaukee to do, and his value is easy to see when he’s sparking the Bucks to such a killer offensive performance.
Blocked Shots – The Bucks didn’t allow many easy shots tonight, racking up 8 blocks in the first half, 3 of them coming from Miles Plumlee. They only had 2 in the second half, but this strong defensive showing early on allowed the Bucks to build a solid lead which they would not look back from. The Bucks are one of the best teams in the league when it comes to scoring in the paint, and if they can also be one of the hardest teams to score on in the paint this season should continue going very nicely for them.
Jabari Parker – Half of the Bucks’ young dynamic duo had another fantastic game as he scored 19 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 steals. He also had a +18 rating, but despite his great offensive showing he was just overshadowed again by Giannis. If the Bucks keep winning games this handily, I’m sure Jabari won’t mind playing this role. One thing Jabari did best Giannis in tonight — turnovers. He didn’t turn the ball over once, while Giannis committed 4 turnovers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Giannis turned in yet another terrific all-around performance, almost snagging a triple double in the first half alone with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. He ultimately finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals and a block in 25 minutes of action. This was good enough for an extremely impressive +25 rating which goes a long way towards explaining this Bucks blowout. Not only has Giannis been putting up eye-popping statlines this season, but his plus/minus ratings show that he’s doing it while helping the team more than anyone else. By the way, he probably would have gotten his first triple-double of the season tonight, but Jason Kidd just didn’t need to play him for all that many minutes. This is a good thing.
Don’t look now, but the Bucks have won 3 in a row and seem to be already figuring it out early in the season! Tune in tomorrow night at 6:00 PM CT to see if they can make it 4 in a row against the Mavericks. If they play like they have the last few games, it should be no problem.