A decade’s wait: Bucks 115 – Magic 100

Milwaukee Bucks 115 Final Recap | Box Score 100 Orlando Magic
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 33 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +19 +/-

Giannis’ night was atypically devoid of highlight material, as he played an extremely solid but unspectacular game. Aaron Gordon again proved that he’s one of the few NBA players who has the length and quickness to stymie Antetokounmpo’s drives. But when Giannis found himself with a favorable matchup — Nikola Vucevic at the top of the key — he aggressively drove and scored an easy and-one layup. He also hit a no-hesitation, catch-and-shot long two in the third quarter.

John Henson, C 24 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | +9 +/-

Henson stepped in as the starting center with Zaza Pachulia’s injury and played perhaps his most aggressive game. Six of his 12 points came within the first four minutes. He started with a strong offensive rebound and putback, followed by a faceup drive right at Vucevic that ended in a quick lefty hook. Later, he faced up and went right at Tobias Harris, bodying him out of the way and dunking with authority. Vucevic still got his 17 and 14, but Henson battled him admirably in the post. We hadn’t seen this type of assertiveness from Henson this season, and it’s possible that the rare guarantee of significant minutes (with Pachulia’s absence) let Henson play more loose, carefree and confident.

Brandon Knight, PG 33 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | +12 +/-

Knight had an abnormally slow start offensively, scoring just two points on 1-5 shooting in the first half. He then came out on fire in the third quarter — scoring 14 points on 6-8 shooting — and helped Milwaukee grow its lead to as many as 29 points.

Jared Dudley, SG 26 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +17 +/-

Dudley replaced the injured Ersan Ilyasova in the starting lineup and slid into an ideal matchup with Channing Frye, who scarcely ventures from the three-point arc and poses no threat on the offensive glass (1.2 ORB% this season). Offensively, Dudley took advantage of his spot-up opportunities, hitting a trio of three-pointers on six attempts.

Khris Middleton, SG 34 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +14 +/-

Middleton, who’s quietly piecing together a phenomenal shooting season, had it going again offensively. His left corner threes were falling, he finished in transition and he flashed the ability to create his own shot off the dribble.

Kenyon Martin, PF 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +10 +/-

Martin was the first player off Milwaukee’s bench, replacing Henson. He set hard, wide screens on offense and deflected a number of passes on defense. More surprisingly, he played rim protector twice in the first half against Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris. He doesn’t really fit Jason Kidd’s high-energy, hands-up defense that requires the quickness to cover and make up a lot of ground each possession, but he may be able helpful in spurts as his conditioning improves.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -7 +/-

O’Bryant made his first two shots — a smooth transition finish with his left hand and a midrange jumper — but then missed his next four. While he’s flashed the ability to hit the midrange shot here and there, he’d be better served shying away from it unless the shot clock is nearing expiration. Open midrange looks are almost always there for him — and for a reason.

Jorge Gutierrez, PG 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -3 +/-Guiterrez made his Bucks debut late in the first quarter and didn’t take long to affirm his coach’s praise. He displayed quick defensive hands by swiping the ball away from Willie Green and getting fouled shortly after entering the game. He also showed off a couple of crisp no-look passes, including one in transition to O’Bryant after corralling a long outlet pass. He also hit his first shot, a long jumper just inside the top arc.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 20 MIN | 6-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +3 +/-Bayless followed up his hot shooting Tuesday night with another efficient game, scoring 19 points on nine shots. His jump shot was on the mark (2-2 from beyond the arc), and he was able to drive to the rim without much perimeter or rim resistance. He only picked up one assist in 20 minutes, often opting to create his own shot — but one can’t argue with the results. Bayless continues to be a pleasant surprise defensively, too.

O.J. Mayo, SG 27 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-3 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +1 +/-

Mayo had a sloppy start, missing short on his jumpers and struggling with his handle. He settled in as the game went along — collecting a half dozen rebounds and assists — but his jump shot continues to be a bit of a roller coaster. Mayo shot 2-7 beyond the arc.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

Ilyasova missed the game with a sore right groin.

Zaza Pachulia, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

Pachulia sat out with a strained right calf and expects to miss at least a week of action.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Bucks won in Orlando for the first time since Dec. 29, 2004, snapping a streak of 17 games. Pachulia was also on the Bucks team that last beat the Magic in Orlando.
  2. Milwaukee opened up a 12-point lead in the first quarter and the game was never truly competitive after that. Milwaukee led by as many as 29 points in the late third quarter, and the entire fourth quarter more or less qualified as garbage time.
  3. There was a lineup in the first quarter that featured Kenyon Martin, Johnny O’Bryant and Jorge Gutierrez. The Bucks still won by double digits.
  4. Tobias Harris, who’s fared quite well against Milwaukee since he was traded (averaging 19.2 points and 10.0 rebound in six games), shot 2-12 from the field and finished with seven points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. Harris left the game in the fourth quarter with a right knee injury. He had been dealing with an ankle injury of late.

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