There’s inherently a different feel to fans when the Milwaukee Bucks play on the west coast. The game starts at 9:00 p.m. and everyone struggles to stay up until the end. Before their game with the Golden State Warriors, who sport the second-worst record in the league, you may have had optimism that the game would be a blowout and you could call it a night a little early. Well, that just never came to fruition as the Bucks had to play all 48 minutes to win this one, 107-98.
It was an incredibly ugly game in the first half. The two were tied at the end of the first quarter at 19 a piece with Milwaukee 1-12 from deep. At least the Warriors have an excuse, as they are overridden with injuries and are playing guys that would normally be on a G-League roster. Credit to them, they’ve played well lately and gave hung with the Bucks. But Milwaukee didn’t do themselves any favor.
By halftime, the Bucks held an eight-point lead despite shooting 34% from the field and 17% from deep. This was largely due to the Warriors turning the ball over much more often than the Bucks. Golden State wasn’t shooting much better either, at 30 from the field and 26% from deep.
The second half saw the intensity turn up. The pace of the game improved and shots started falling for both teams. Every time Milwaukee pushed the lead to double-digits, the Warriors would fight back to cut it within a couple possessions. A number of players scored for Golden State which made it difficult for Milwaukee to pinpoint a weakness in their defense.
Luckily for the Bucks, the Warriors didn’t have enough juice in them to close out the game and the clocked ticked down to zero rather anticlimactically for a Milwaukee win.
Giannis led the game as he usually does with 30/12/4 but struggled to finish on a few possessions and generally wasn’t as aggressive as we are used to seeing. It was Khris Middleton who kept the ship steady for most of the game when things started to get away from the Bucks. His 21/7/6 proved he was a willing passer and, especially in the third and fourth quarters, made some timely plays along with hitting threes during cold streaks in the first half.
Without George Hill, Milwaukee lacked any consistent outside shooting and finished just 9-41 from deep, a percentage that won’t beat better teams like San Antonio.
The Warriors found scoring from a number of players with six different guys scoring in double-digits. With their roster, it’s the only formula that will keep them in games and it’s absolutely not sustainable but, nevertheless, it was still Milwaukee’s problem Wednesday night.
Milwaukee improves to 33-6 on the season with the win. Their next game in the road trip comes Friday night in Sacramento to take on the Kings. Tip is set for 9:00 p.m.