Alphabet missing, Bucks dual role players 52+23+9 caps! The Bucks edged out the Nets to stay in first place
The Bucks host the Nets, who were first in the league at 47-18 while the Nets were sixth in the East at 37-28. That’s a long way off. Now the Celtics and Nuggets are hot on Milwaukee’s heels for the league’s best record in the regular season, and the Nets, who traded Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this season, But they’re still in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, and coaches and players are telling us that they still want to make the playoffs this season.
Milwaukee missed Giannis Antetokounmpo with an injury and new signing Dragic for the time being, but Antetokounmpo also missed games during their 16-game winning streak, and the Bucks still managed to beat tough opponents under Holiday.
The Nets are also on the DL, with starters Chris Claxton and DeAndre Johnson both sidelined by injuries, but Nets coach Tim Vaughn said before the game that Bridges wouldn’t play much today, and he’s scored 30 points in three straight games in the Nets’ three-game winning streak.
Bucks starter: Middleton Portidalo Aaron Holiday
Nets starter: Curry Harris Bridges Smith Noel
Portis and Holiday hit back-to-back jumpers to start the game, but Bridges was hot, scoring five straight points to tie the game. The Bucks got off to a slow start, turning over two turnovers in the first two minutes. The Nets took advantage of the Bucks’ turnovers to make it 10-0. Bridges already has eight points less than four minutes into the game.
The Bucks got hot after a 10-0 run and an 8-0 run before Allen hit a 3-pointer to break the scoring drought, but the Nets couldn’t get it back. After leading by eight, the Bucks scored 14 straight points and the Nets called a timeout to recover.
Crowder and Holiday scored five straight points after a timeout. The Nets broke a five-minute scoring drought on Sharp’s putback with 3:20 left in the first quarter. Thomas hit a chase 3 to get within six. The shooters, led by Portis, hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Bucks led 37-20 in the first quarter.
The second section
The Nets struggled offensively, but the Bucks’ three-point shooting was so good that they hit two more 3s in the first two minutes to push the lead to more than 20 points. The Bucks hit 12 3-pointers in less than 15 minutes.
After the timeout, the Bucks finally lost their touch. They couldn’t make a couple of plays, but the defense was still there. They couldn’t make a play, and the Nets couldn’t make a play. The two sides still played very quickly, then the Bucks head coach could not see, the initiative called time out.
After a timeout, the offense didn’t change, and in the words of the commentator, “it was just running back and shooting.” The intensity of the game really didn’t feel like a playoff matchup, but the Nets got within 20 points on a 3-pointer by Mills and trailed 47-64 at halftime.
Portis finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 3-of-4 3-point shooting. Allen finished with 12 points on 2-of-5 3-point shooting and 3-of-7 shooting. The Nets were matched only by Bridges, who finished with 10 points on 2-of-3 3-of-13 shooting after playing just 12 minutes in the first half.
The third section
The second half Bridges still did not play, the Nets side is almost all reserves, the two sides started playing back and forth, the second half of the Bucks play is still relatively loose, on the contrary, the Nets play a model, all reserves beat the Bucks a wave of 7-0. The Nets continued to feel hot, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to get within 12, including three from two-way contract players Drew Smith and David Duke.
The Nets were not only hot on the offensive end, but also limited on the defensive end. With a 3-pointer by Mills, the Nets pushed the point margin to the single digits. After the two sides launched a seesaw battle, the game gradually became more anxious. Forced turnovers continued on the offensive end, and after the Nets hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to six, the Bucks struggled to find their offense and were down by seven, 80-87, after three quarters.
The fourth quarter
The nets are full of players who don’t normally get to play, and the Bucks don’t know what their game is like. The Nets have gotten to within five points, but Connaughton was hot enough to respond. So far in the second half, the Bucks have hit two 3-pointers from Connaughton.
The game was all about the Nets after Duke’s dunk, but the Bucks were a champions-caliber team, so they were able to respond when it counted. With more than seven minutes to play, the Nets trailed the Bucks by nine points, and the Bucks had no idea in the first half that they might be going down to the wire today.
It took less than a minute for the Nets to go 7-0 after Middleton came back from a timeout and the Bucks called a timeout. The game was seesaw again in the final half, 97-99 after Drew Smith hit a midrange shot. There were four minutes and 31 seconds left on the clock.
The Nets were less experienced than Holiday and the rest of the team. The Nets got within one possession twice in the final minutes, but never came back. In the last two minutes, neither team could defend the other, Thomas played as he did, the Nets trailed by four in the final 30 seconds. Finally big key block to kill the game. The game was won by the Bucks 118-113.
Bucks: Dello finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks on 10-of-20 shooting and 3-of-7 3-pointers, Portis finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds on 11-of-15 shooting and 3-of-4 3-pointers, and Allen added 19 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-12 shooting
Nets: Thomas finished with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 3-of-6 from 3-point range, Mills finished with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and Duke and Smith, two two-way contract players, combined for 30 points.
The Nets showed why Durant and Irving are still in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while lebron lebron was dominant, blocking a career-high nine shots in a game. He also became the first player since Whiteside in ’18 to score 24 points, nine rebounds and nine caps. The Bucks won, but it was a game that was put on the line by players who don’t normally play basketball. They needed to take stock after the game. Tomorrow’s game is their big deal.