Despite the absences of De’Aaron Fox on one side and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the other, the match started with a strong offensive rhythm, possessions followed quickly. Inspired in attack, the Kings are the first to press the accelerator: no less than eight different players score for a first quarter at 56% on shots. As for the Bucks, Khris Middleton (9 points) started strong, relayed off the bench by Jordan Nwora (8 points), but it was the Kings who were in the lead after twelve minutes (35-27).
The result is less glorious for the Kings, who cash a 20-7 in 8 minutes and lose the advantage in score. The absence of De’Aaron Fox is starting to be felt and the visitors’ offensive game is stagnating (35% on shots). Thanks to 30 points from the Middleton – Holiday duo, the Bucks regain control of the score at halftime (62-54).
After the break, the locals drive the point home and take a 15-point lead (87-72) halfway through the third quarter thanks to a devilish outside address (8/16 during the quarter) and a very good contribution by George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo. On the verge of sinking for good, the Kings nevertheless keep their heads above water thanks to their “role players”: Harrison Barnes and Terence Davis keep the rhythm in attack and send a shock to keep the Kings in the game (94-86).
During the last quarter, the Kings multiplied the assaults, notably under the impetus of a Tyrese Haliburton who was gaining momentum at the best moment, judiciously alternating between caviars for his teammates and shots for himself. But unfortunately for Alvin Gentry’s men, Khris Middleton watches over the grain: first author of 7 points earlier in the quarter, the winger scored an award-winning shot assassin one minute from the end of the match, while the Kings were back to 3 points. The Californians, too friable in defense, nevertheless narrowly failed and suffered a third consecutive defeat.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Major absences : De’Aaron Fox because of pain in the left ankle, Giannis Antetokounmpo for pain in the right knee (but mainly because the Bucks were “back-to-back”). Despite everything, the present delivered a very good match.
– The mark of Harrison Barnes : by a “lay-up” scored during the third quarter, the winger crossed the milestone of 10,000 career points. A great achievement for a solid and appreciated player everywhere he went. As a bonus, he finished top scorer for the Kings with 29 points (11/18), but also 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
– Losing but successful comeback for Tyrese Haliburton. Released from the health protocol, the leader / rear found his own and delivered a fantastic performance despite the defeat: 24 points (8/14), 6 rebounds and 12 assists. His heat stroke in the last quarter sent the Bucks shaking.
✅ Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Patrons in the absence of the “Greek Freak”. Metronomes throughout the match, they took their responsibilities in the “money-time” to repel valiant and eye-catching Kings. In total, they compile 60 points at 22/40 on shots!
✅ The Bucks 3-point barrage. The NBA champions converted half of their attempts from behind the arc (21/42). In the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his dominance inside, the Bucks adapted and torpedoed the Kings from long range. Despite everything, Jrue Holiday’s teammates won “only” by 6 points.
✅ Donte DiVincenzo. Author of a very clean match off the bench: 20 points (6/10), 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The back is gaining momentum after several months away from the field.
⛔️ Buddy Hield. Complicated evening for the wisp of the Kings, who scored only 6 points on 11 shots and failed to shake up the opposing defense as he is able. A game to forget.
Milwaukee (30-19) : Wednesday, trip to Cleveland
Sacramento (18-30) : Boston reception, Tuesday