Game 7: Bucks 75 – Mavericks 86

The Bucks looked to make it four in a row tonight as Dirk Nowitzki, Devin Harris and Deron Williams all sat for the Mavericks due to injury.

The starting lineup for the Bucks was:

Matthew Dellavedova

Tony Snell

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Jabari Parker

Miles Plumlee

The Mavericks’ starters were:

J.J. Barea

Justin Anderson

Wesley Matthews

Harrison Barnes

Andrew Bogut

Jabari Parker kicked off the scoring for the Bucks with a jumper, then neither team shot very well to begin the game (though the Bucks shot better than the Mavs) as it was only 12-6 Bucks midway through the first. Jabari was responsible for 6 of these 12 early points himself and Delly had 4 quick assists to start the game. The Bucks soon found their footing after a shaky 2/7 start from the field and were able to turn in a 27-19 lead after the opening quarter. Michael Beasley had a nice start off the bench, racking up 7 points to help the Bucks to an early lead.

Mirza Teletovic kept up his hot hand from last game as he hit a 3-pointer to pace the Bucks’ scoring in the second quarter. The Bucks kept their solid lead for a few minutes, but Dallas was able to cut the lead to 35-33 midway through the quarter on a Finney-Smith 3-pointer. Fortunately, Jabari responded with consecutive baskets to stifle Dallas’s rally. Unfortunately, Harrison Barnes was a man on a mission as he basically single-handedly tied the game up with 3 minutes left on his 15th and 16th points. A J.J. Barea 3-pointer gave the Mavs their first lead since 2 minutes into the game, and the Mavs went into halftime with a 47-39 lead thanks to Milwaukee’s offense going ice cold late in the first half as they weren’t able to score in the final five minutes of the half.

Harrison Barnes kicked off the scoring in the second half for the Mavericks, but Giannis was able to respond with a 3-pointer, the Bucks’ first points in over 5 minutes of action. The Bucks wasted no time attempting to chip away at Dallas’s lead in the third quarter, but the Mavs held strong as they maintained a 53-47 lead midway through the third. Milwaukee was able to cut the lead to one point in the third a few times, but the Mavs would not cede the lead. Dallas never trailed in the third, and took a 59-56 lead heading into the final quarter.

Greg Monroe led the scoring charge for the Bucks in the final quarter as he made two free throws to bring his team within a point. A minute later, after Barnes missed a dunk, Teletovic nailed a 3 to give the Bucks their first lead of the second half, then hit another 3 a little later to put the Bucks up 5 and give them some breathing room with about 9 minutes left in the game. These shots ended up being crucial as the Bucks did not give up the lead for the rest of regulation, though the Mavs tied it up on a J.J. Barea and-one with a minute to go. Giannis and Barnes then traded baskets before Giannis pulled up for a game-winning shot… and missed as the game went into overtime on a 74-74 tie.

Harrison Barnes (who else?) started the scoring for the Mavs in overtime with yet another jumper, and the Bucks started the period with three consecutive turnovers as they could not get anything going offensively. A J.J. Barea 3-pointer put Dallas up 5 with a few minutes to go and the Bucks just could not seem to find their way back from there. A few Mavs buckets and a few Bucks turnovers later, and Dallas left the court with their first win of the season against the Bucks, 86-75.

Three Big Things

Jabari Parker – Giannis was in foul trouble early with two fouls in about 90 seconds (and three fouls in his first 3 minutes of play), so tonight was Jabari’s night to shine. He had 10 points in the first 7 minutes on 5/7 shooting to give the Bucks an early advantage, and ended up with 16 points on 8/16 shooting and 7 rebounds. He also had 4 turnovers and 5 fouls though (as several Bucks seemed to rack up the turnovers and fouls), showing that he’s at his best when he can rely on Giannis by his side on the court.

Harrison Barnes – Barnes had a huge 19 points in the first half, and he kept the Mavs in the game in the first half while none of his teammates seemed to be contributing offensively. Barnes finished with a career-high 34 points on 13/26 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds in 47 minutes, and even though he did most of his scoring in the first half he was the most crucial part of Dallas’s second quarter run which gave put the Mavs in the driver’s seat. He certainly picked up the slack with Dirk, Harris and Williams out, and even though the Bucks should have been able to focus on him defensively they just couldn’t get it done.

Turnovers – It seemed like every time the Bucks were close to cutting down the Mavs’ lead tonight, Milwaukee would shoot themselves in the foot with sloppy play leading to turnovers. Once they had the lead, they could not put Dallas away because they kept turning it over and letting the Mavs back into the game. They finished the night with 27 turnovers, and each of them seemed to come at a frustrating time as they would kill Milwaukee runs or spark Dallas runs. No matter how much talent the Bucks have, they’re not going to win many games in which they turn over the ball this often. They should know that 27 turnovers (against just 14 assists, no less) will not usually cut it, even against winless teams.

Plus/Minus Hero

Malcolm Brogdon – The super-rookie gets plus/minus hero honors with a +10 rating tonight in 19 minutes of action. He only scored 7 points on 2/7 shooting, but he was able to snag 2 steals and only turned it over once on a night when his teammates were losing the ball all over the court. It’s rare to see a rookie be the one who keeps his head while his team is falling apart around him, and tonight’s performance shows we can continue to expect good things from the young Brogdon.

The Bucks get a little bit of rest now as their next contest is against the Pelicans on Thursday night at 7:00 PM CT. Tune in then to see if the Bucks can start a new winning streak after tonight’s disappointing loss.

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