In the Milwaukee Bucks’ second game with the Dallas Mavericks this season and the second reunion of the Antotekounmpo brothers, the Bucks defeated the Mavericks 122-107. Milwaukee completed the season sweep of the Mavericks despite Khris Middleton sitting for the night and Dallas tying their franchise record on 3-point makes.
The first quarter didn’t go well for the Bucks, who shot only 2-11 from 3 and 5 turnovers that led to 9 points for the Mavericks. Dallas shot 5-12 from 3 and kept the quarter even, ending 29-29. Giannis was the only efficient scorer for Milwaukee with 9 points on 4-6 shooting. Milwaukee was able to dominate the glass with 100% of defensive rebounds and a whopping 36.4% on the offensive glass.
All season Milwaukee has remained the best second quarter team in the NBA. In fact, the Bucks’ second quarter is the most efficient quarter in the NBA above every other team in any quarter. In Dallas they showed why and turned up the intensity on the defensive end, allowing only 22 points and scoring 39 to take the lead at 64-51 after the second buzzer. Giannis entered the locker room leading all scorers with 16 points on 7-11 shooting from the field and swishing one of his two 3-point attempts. Brogdon had a productive quarter with 10 points on 7 shots and 4 rebounds. 10 of Milwaukee’s 12 active players saw the court in the first half, leaving out two-way contract players Christian Wood and Trevon Duval. Dallas had 6 players with 5 or more points led by rookie sensation Luka Doncic with 11 points and 40% shooting from 3.
Early in the second half, Milwaukee forced Dallas to call a timeout after a beautiful pass from Giannis to Lopez in transition. Just 3 minutes into the half, the Bucks had built their lead to 20 points with contributions from all of the starters. Dallas followed the Bucks run with their own and chipped away at the lead with 9 3s on 16 attempts. Milwaukee held a 94-86 lead entering the 4th despite 5 players shooting 40% or higher from 3 for the Mavericks. Giannis continued to be a bright spot for Milwaukee and secured his 38th double-double before the quarter concluded, good for 4th most in the league.
Clinging to an 8-point lead, Giannis began the 4th quarter with a 5-0 run but was quickly erased by Dallas making a run of their own. The Mavericks cut the deficit to as low as 7 before the Bucks took over and outscored Dallas in the final period 28-21. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 20 points followed by new teammate Trey Burke with 18. Milwaukee picked up their 31st double-digit win in their league-leading 41 wins with a final score of 122-107.
Giannis finished as the game’s highest scorer with 29/17/5 splits on 13-19 shooting from the field. Lopez finished with his own 20 on 8-14 shooting and in the process tied his own record of 134 3-point field goals in a season by a center. In addition, Milwaukee’s starting guards had very efficient nights. Bledsoe continued his hot 3-point shooting with 4 on 7 attempts and put up 18 points. Brogdon matched Bledsoe’s points on his own 9-14 shooting from the field.
This was Milwaukee’s first sweep of the Mavericks in 8 seasons and both were by double-digits. They were able to extend their winning streak to 6 games despite Dallas tying their franchise record with 22 3s and have now won 24 of their last 29. Milwaukee was able to counter Dallas’ outside shooting by winning the battle in the paint 80-26.
Promising Bucks guard prospect Trevon Duval appeared in his first NBA game with 53 seconds on the clock. He made the most of his minute by scoring 2 points on a cut for a layup and tossing a behind-the-back pass to Ilyasova for an easy layup. Duval nearly made an incredible block on a driving Mavericks player but was immediately called a goal tend. Herd teammate Christian Wood was the only Buck to not see the floor.
Milwaukee’s newest addition, Nikola Mirotic, did not participate in the contest. This is likely due to the trade being finalized late last night. If we look back to when George Hill was traded to the Bucks in early December it was a similar situation. It was the night before a back-to-back and he didn’t play the first night in Toronto but did play the following day in Milwaukee. So expect to see Mirotic make his debut off the bench tomorrow against the Magic.
Khris Middleton was another non-participate tonight to rest up for the upcoming stretch of games. Milwaukee has a busy schedule ahead of them before the All-Star break that begins next Friday, including the second game of this back-to-back Saturday night and a game on Monday and Wednesday. Middleton should be well rested and hopefully can provide a spark on either end of the floor if necessary.
Milwaukee brings their lead back up to 2 games ahead of Toronto for the top seed in the East with a record of 41-13 and improve their road record to an East-leading 18-9. Dallas falls to 25-29 and sit in the 11th spot in the Western Conference. The Bucks have a quick turnaround and have to travel from Dallas to Milwaukee to play the Orlando Magic at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night.