The second game of a back-to-back can be a difficult challenge to overcome. Throw in the fact that the opponent is considered to be at least somewhat of a contender in the East and you wouldn’t be surprised if your team lost. Well, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to be on a level that exceeds the league. The Bucks took it to their former starter and rookie-of-the-year Malcolm Brogdon and the Indiana Pacers, winning 117-89.
Though Indiana is still without their star Victor Oladipo, they’ve shown they can beat some really good teams. They came into Sunday night’s game on a 5-game winning streak with wins over the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics. This was also Brogdon’s first game against his former team, which had some added juice when Brogdon was quoted before the game saying, “I would have loved to play for this team if they had wanted me.”
Obviously, Milwaukee’s front office didn’t value Brogdon the way he felt he deserved which resulted in him signing with Indiana in the offseason while the Bucks went a different direction with Bledsoe, DiVincenzo, Hill, and Mason III.
So far, it’s hard to say that Milwaukee made the wrong decision. Yes, Brogdon is having a great season. But Sunday’s game, as well as the entire season, has shown the Bucks can manage pretty well for themselves.
Malcolm had a pretty rough game. He was hounded by the Bucks’ elite defense, which held him to 10 points on 5-19 from the field. His teammates didn’t fare much better. Indiana finished with 37%/30% splits and only attempted five free throws. In short, total dominance.
Milwaukee, on the other hand, picked up right where they left off yesterday.
For the second game in a row, Giannis wasn’t the leading scorer but still the most impactful player on the court. He finished with 18/19/9, two blocks, and two steals in 31 minutes and hit another three to push his total to 52 threes on the season, tying his previous season record from last season.
Wes Matthews took over as top scorer with 19 on 5-10 and 4-8 from deep. Brook Lopez continues to find his stroke with 17 on 6-11 and 3-6 from three. And of course, George Hill got is share with 17/9/4 on 6-10 and 3-6 from three. It’s pretty impressive how consistently Milwaukee has had a number of players with efficient shooting nights. As we’ve seen from opponents, it shouldn’t happen as often as it is.
Milwaukee improved their league-leading record to 27-4 with the blowout win. They get a few days of rest before the Christmas showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers, the last true contender the Bucks have left to defeat. Tip is set for 1:30 p.m. CT.