(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Houston Rockets 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -1

Makes. So. Many. Jump. Shots. He’s definitely the best jump shooter on the Bucks and I get the feeling that he’s the best jump shooter the team has had in quite a while. Middleton rode a collection of threes and midrange jumpers to 17 second half points and was by far the biggest reason this game was close down the stretch.

John Henson, C Shot Chart 41 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +1

Forced into a lot of center duty that included having to matchup with Dwight Howard, who shrugged him aside with what seemed like an unfair amount of strength. Henson was fairly active inside and probably would have downright flourished had Larry Sanders not left with an injury five minutes into the game.

Larry Sanders, C Shot Chart 4 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5

He took an elbow to the face from Harden and thrashed around on the ground for a bit after. Sounds like he was hit in the eye and around the eye with the elbow. Reports were that his vision was blurred and that’s what prevented his re-entry to the game. I saw Sanders walking out, holding his face, looking miserable. Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin said after the game that Sanders told him he would be ready Monday.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 10-20 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 23 PTS | 0

Another solid offensive game, largely devoid of what would be referred to as “traditional” point guard play. Knight did more work outside of the paint and inside the 3-point line tonight than usual, hitting four of eight “in between” shots.

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 9-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | -4

19 points is a new career high for Wolters. He shot one three with serious confidence, a kick out into his hands in the corner. He very rarely attempts a three or even seems to consider shooting, but this was one he could not pass up on. It was nice to see him connect and after a 1-3 performance from behind the arc (at least one was a buzzer beater he had to hoist), he’s now 4-32 on threes this season. Outside of his shooting, he continued to succeed around the hoop and was able to penetrate Houston’s defense with more regularity than he has been able to penetrate other defenses recently.

Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Way too slow. Way too Earth bound. Way to heavy to matchup with Dwight Howard. He battled gamely and refrained from fouling out, but Howard was able to jump over and step around him with relative ease.

Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 29 MIN | 5-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | 0

He picked up a technical foul for slapping at Howard after a play and generally tried to pester him all night. Other than that, it was typical Zaza ball. He passed well and tried to set up teammates, but it was hard to get anything positive happening in the paint for Milwaukee with Howard dominating so thoroughly.

Gary Neal, SG Shot Chart 12 MIN | 0-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -6

WOOF.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 25 MIN | 0-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -10

Sad.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Injured back kept him out.

Luke Ridnour, PG Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Injured back kept him out.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart DNP ILLNESS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Working on getting his conditioning back up.

Larry Drew

With Sanders out early, he was in a tough spot, trying to mix and match guys to stop a Houston team with two legitimate stars.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Howard looked very athletic, a lot like Howard from a few years back. He shook the backboard viciously with one alley-oop in the first half and caught four or five more throughout the game. He wasn’t catching great passes every time either. The Rockets just lobbed passes in his general direction and he gobbled them up and finished.
  2. Milwaukee gamely battled Houston, but turned the ball over at crucial times on a number of occasions. They lost the turnover battle, 18-13.