MILWAUKEE- Coming off the team’s first loss of the season, the Milwaukee Bucks looked to get back on track with a Sunday matinee against the young Sacramento Kings. Milwaukee was able to do so with ease, dominating Sacramento at home, 144-109.
Eric Bledsoe started things off right for Milwaukee with back-to-back made jumpers to put the home team up 5-0. Sacramento then answered, led by Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox’s playmaking, to take an early lead, 14-7. After Sacramento went on a 14-2 run, Bucks’ Coach Mike Budenholzer immediately called a quick timeout.
After the team regrouped, it was just about all Milwaukee the rest of the way. Every time the Kings made a stop, Giannis Antetokounmpo drove in for a finish, or made the right play and kicked it out to Khris Middleton or Ersan Ilyasova for an open three.
The Bucks had five double-digit scorers in the first half, led by Ilyasova’s 15 points off the bench. Four of five Milwaukee starters were in double digits as well, as Milwaukee attempted 29 three-pointers in the first two quarters.
Early in the second half, it was an Antetokounmpo dunk show. The Greek Freak had a terrific alley-oop finish from Middleton, and then absolutely skied over Kosta Koufos in the post and threw down on him.
At the height of Milwaukee’s run, the Bucks led by nearly 30, and it looked like things were just about over at Fiserv Forum.
However, Sacramento’s young bunch kept fighting and brought the deficit down to 18, which led to Milwaukee bringing Giannis back in after a short break on the bench.
Once back in the game, Antetokounmpo essentially ended the momentum by himself. First, he had a great dish to Tony Snell for a three-pointer, with the foul. Then, somehow in five seconds, Giannis grabbed a rebound, weaved through three defenders, and threw it cross-court to Pat Connaughton in the corner, who made a three to end the quarter.
After three quarters, Milwaukee led 108-82, and Antetokounmpo secured his second triple double of the young season.
In the final quarter, several players that had not recently been in the rotation got some minutes, and did not miss a beat. Milwaukee won the fourth quarter, 36-27, en route to a whopping 144-109 victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 26 points to go along with 15 rebounds and 11 assists, while Justin Jackson led Sacramento off the bench with 22 points.
Antetokounmpo put up a triple-double, and the rest of the team helped Milwaukee set a new franchise record with made three-pointers at 22.
Coach Budenholzer was asked about how important it is that so many players can contribute on this team.
“The better the roster surrounding him, the guys coming off the bench and starting, it’s just going to raise his level of play and our level of play,” Budenholzer explained. “He’s very special, and we can also talk about a lot of other guys who played well too.”
Milwaukee is playing very good basketball at 8-1, and will have a big test as the Bucks begin a four-game road trip on the West Coast this week.