In the battle of the two worst squads in the Eastern Conference on Saturday night, the Bucks didn’t come out victorious. After an underachieving 5-14 start, Brooklyn defeated Milwaukee 90-82 and improved only to a mere 6-14 on the young season. The win marks the first time that Brooklyn has won consecutive games on the road. Meanwhile, Milwaukee reverts back to their losing ways after grabbing a win in overtime on Friday night in Washington. The main component for the Nets’ success on the night came inside and mostly from Brook Lopez. Brooklyn outscored Milwaukee in the paint 44-30, including a season-high 32 from Lopez. Twenty of his 32 points came in the first half of the game.
With Zaza Pachulia ruled out once again, that left Milwaukee and Larry Drew shorthanded up front. John Henson received the start against Lopez but Drew was forced to throw in young gun Miroslav Raduljica early in the second quarter because of his physical capabilities compared to his other players available. Drew after the game said, “I thought he gave us some really good minutes, but at the end we had no answers for Lopez down low.” Lopez also managed to extend his double-digit scoring streak to 37 games – which is the longest of his career. “I got good looks from my guards. They got me easy looks. I just tried to take my time in the post and really read what they were doing.” Lopez explained afterwards.
Khris Middleton: 37 minutes, nine points and six rebounds. After scoring a career-high 29 points in Washington on Friday, Middleton struggled with his shot in this game shooting three-for-nine from the field and hitting only one shot from behind the arc. Consistency is starting to look like the issue with Middleton’s game this season, but for what it’s worth, he also played the most minutes of any Bucks player for the second straight game.
O.J. Mayo: 22 points, five assists. Mayo led all Bucks players in scoring on the night.
John Henson: 18 points, seven rebounds and one blocked shot. Henson extended his streak of games with one block to 14. For most of the game, John led the team in scoring until late in the second half. Henson was the lone bright spot for Milwaukee in the paint but they still were manhandled by Lopez.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 14 minutes, three points and one blocked shot. I felt obligated to mention Giannis in this post because most of you just want an update on him anyways. He was very much ineffective tonight other than his lone energetic block.
Ekpe Udoh: 25 minutes, 0 points and five fouls. I honestly don’t know what I was going to do if Udoh fouled out of the game. Even though he is battling an injury, his putrid stat line is a cause for concern being in the starting lineup. But with all of the injuries going on with this team, there’s nothing else Drew can do.
Milwaukee concluded a long week in which they played four games in five nights. That’s a pretty tough stretch for a team still trying to find their identity this season as a whole. “You go through stretches of going through the highs and lows. We have got to man up and deal with the schedule like all of the other 29 teams do.” The Bucks will have to do a lot more than just man up considering their next game will be Tuesday on the road versus a tough Chicago Bulls team.