|Khris Middleton, PF 27 MIN | 7-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +20
Middleton paced the Bucks with eight points in the first quarter, led all scorers with 12 at halftime and finished with a game-high 18 (tied with Brandon Knight) on nine shots. He played within himself offensively, hitting both of his three-point attempts and converting a nice floater off the dribble. Middleton also collected three rebounds, three assists and a career-high five steals.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 6 PTS | +7
O’Bryant had a rough first quarter, when he was matched up against the longer, more active Nerlens Noel. He allowed his adversary to grab a couple of offensive rebounds, including a put-back dunk. There was a rough series in which O’Bryant badly missed a long jumper, fumbled the ball away on a drive and then turned it over again on an errant pass in consecutive possessions. He did provide a couple of flashes in the second half, including an aggressive offensive rebound in traffic and a reverse layup. However, five turnovers didn’t help his cause.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 32 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 12 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | +17
Pachulia has been nothing but consistent since replacing Larry Sanders in the starting lineup. Wednesday night was no different, and he ended up flirting with a triple-double. His midrange jumper was falling, he didn’t face much resistance crashing the boards and his passes were on point. It’s clear that he and Knight have much more chemistry on pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops than Knight and Sanders do; Pachulia and Knight frequently found each other for open looks throughout the game. Pachulia did rack up four turnovers, but a couple of those came late in garbage time.
|Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 18 PTS | +20
It was another good shooting performance for Knight, who converted four of his seven three-point attempts en route to 18 points on 12 shots. He also picked up where he left off against Phoenix by throwing down a thunderous one-handed dunk in transition during the fourth quarter. Knight added five assists as the primary ball handler but turned over the ball as many times.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 15 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +9
Antetokounmpo didn’t play in the second half, surely to the chagrin of Bucks fans. He was replaced by Nate Wolters to start the second half. By all indications, Bucks coach Jason Kidd wanted to rest Giannis with the game pretty well in hand from the onset. Uncharacteristically, Antetokounmpo struggled to finish at the rim and generally appeared out of control on drives. He hit a midrange jumper, though.
|John Henson, C 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | +3
Despite resting Giannis, Kidd rolled with Pachulia for 32 minutes, which left only 16 for the backup. Henson managed to block four shots in that time, but also turned the ball over four times. One noticeable area of improvement for Henson this season is his passing. Not only has he been a more effective passer out of the post and from the elbow — he’s been a more willing one. His usage eclipsed 20 percent each of his first two seasons, and he was a bit of a black hole when he touched the ball; this year, his usage is down to 16.6 percent. Henson’s a much more discerning offensive player, and his improved awareness and decision-making have also helped him reach impressive offensive efficiency (60.3 true shooting percentage).
|Nate Wolters, PG 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -7
Wolters leapfrogged Kendall Marshall in the rotation Wednesday night, and Kidd didn’t give much of an explanation for it after the game. Wolters looked fairly sharp for someone who had only played 33 minutes over the last month, but he struggled to finish at the rim. He did have a nice outlet pass to Bayless in the third quarter, which resulted in a dunk.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 26 MIN | 6-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | +10
It was another steady performance for Bayless, who converted all six of his shots from the field.
|Jared Dudley, SG 24 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +11
Like O’Bryant, Dudley struggled with Noel’s length on defense, but he dutifully boxed out and grabbed boards when he could, finishing with seven defensive rebounds.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 24 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +10
Mayo was a perfect 4-4 from the field in the first half. He then shot 2-7 in the second half, including 1-5 from beyond the arc. ‘Tis the life of a streaky shooter. Despite 11 field goal attempts in 24 minutes, he didn’t force many shots and was a willing distributor, finishing with six assists and no turnovers.
|Kendall Marshall, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Four Things We Saw
- The 20-point winning margin, Milwaukee’s third-largest of the season, is actually misleading. The 76ers never truly posed a threat. They shot 30.1 percent from the field — the lowest percentage by a Bucks opponent since 2005, according to Fox Sports’ Andrew Gruman — and that was after they converted their last four shot attempts to end the game. They were 2-25 (8.0 percent) from beyond the arc. They managed to pick up an inbounds violation by stepping over the baseline. The Bucks and 76ers combined for 50 turnovers, which means this game featured over one turnover per minute. The Bucks stormed out to a 21-point lead with nine minutes left in the third quarter, and the rest of the game effectively turned into garbage time (even though the 76ers briefly trimmed the lead to 14 points toward the end of the third quarter). It was not pretty.
- Michael Carter-Williams, Henry Sims and Robert Covington — three 76ers starters — combined for 3-32 (9.4 percent) from the field. Tony Wroten, Philadelphia’s leading bench scorer, went 4-19 from the field and 0-7 from beyond the arc. There were many ill-advised shots.
- The Bucks didn’t play particularly well or energetic — mostly due to 26 turnovers, many of which were careless — but they coasted to a 53.9 field goal percentage and season-high 32 assists.
- This was Philadelphia’s shot chart, courtesy of NBA.com/Stats: