Man, that was a tough loss.
The Bucks has possession up two with about 30 seconds left to play. After a screen set by Jabari Parker on Russell Westbrook, Russ was switched onto the Bucks forward. Parker went left then behind his back and Russ poked the ball away, scooped it up and got a quick timeout.
14.2 seconds remained on the clock.
Russ took the ball right at Bucks’ guard Tony Snell. Snell slapped the ball away and it was initially signaled to be Thunder basketball. The refs took another look at it, and from what I saw on TV it looked to be inclusive. However, after the official review, the call was overturned… Bucks ball.
After looking at a view more angles, the ball does seem to touch Westbrook’s fingertips last before it heads out of bounds. Take a look for yourself:
Milwaukee rookie Malcolm Brogdon was then fouled and made both at the charity stripe. The Thunder now had the ball, down four, with 8 seconds to go. Russ then airballed his initial three-point attempt and after a few more last second shots, the game ended 98-94.
Overall, this was a pretty entertaining game to watch. The stat sheet monsters, Russ and Giannis, did not disappoint. With Westbrook going for 30-7-6 and Giannis going for 26-10-5.
Westbrook got help from both Adams (20 points and 7 rebounds) who had another solid performance, and Oladipo (18-5-4) on the offensive end. Really glad Victor is back and playing well.
The Thunder started off hot in this one making their first 11 shots and shooting an absurd 70% from the floor after one. They finished the first half shooting 60%. However, they cooled off in the third quarter, especially Russ (0-8 on FGs), and ended the game at 46.2%. Speaking of Russ in the third, he was taking a lot of bad shots, mostly the ones from distance. He just didn’t look to be taking them in any sort of rhythm and he couldn’t get anything to fall.
Along with poor second half shooting, another problem for the Thunder tonight was their bench. Everyone was a minus tonight off the Thunder bench, and they only got 2 points out of Enes Kanter who went 1-6 from the floor. He also was unable to slow down Greg Monroe on the defensive end and Monroe was getting basically anything he wanted against Kanter. The lone bright spot for the Thunder bench was Semaj Christon. He finished with a season high 11 points (5-6) and scored the Thunder’s first 7 points in the 4th quarter.
The Thunder also had no answer for the Bucks inside. They gave up 54 points in the paint to the Bucks who lead the NBA in this category. Giannis (26), Henson (12), Monroe (15) and Parker (19) all hurt the Thunder in the paint.
Milwaukee’s two young superstars, Giannis and Parker, also received help from their second unit. Unlike the Thunder’s overall bench minus, the Bucks reserves were all pluses for the night.
In conclusion, the Thunder were stagnant on offense in the second half and couldn’t get their shots (good or bad) to fall. On the other end, Parker and Giannis played well and got the help they needed to get the victory.
- Matthew Dellavedova was out again for the Bucks tonight. Rookie Malcolm Brogdon got the start in Delly’s absence after having the first ever triple-double by a rookie in Bucks’ franchise history against the Bulls on New Year’s Eve.
- Antetokounmpo and Westbrook each recorded a triple-double the last time these two teams met… neither did tonight.
- Andre Roberson seemed to be giving Giannis problems in the first quarter, but being the sensational scorer that he is, he found his groove and ended up having a solid night overall.
- Sticking with defense, Sabonis also seemed to be doing a decent job on Parker in the first. Now, Parker was missing some open looks, but the young Thunder big men wasn’t making it easy on the Bucks forward. Like Giannis though, Parker got more comfortable as the night went on, and was able to get inside and score while showing off some pretty nasty handles for a guy his size.
- Thunder wore their home whites tonight on the road.
- Adams was an absolute bully down low to start the game. He had a first quarter career high 12 points and couldn’t be stopped on the pick and roll. The Bucks started to bring a double, and the Thunder seemed to go away from the big men in the second half.
- Giannis nickname suits him well because he is an absolute freak:
- Russ hit a 3 and went to the “Discount Double Check” as his celebration. The Milwaukee crowd did not enjoy that. Russ looked over to the Bucks bench (specifically Steve Novak) and gave a chuckle.
- When Russ isn’t shooting well, but is also taking bad shots, it throws everything out of rhythm for the Thunder on offense. That’s what happened in the third quarter tonight for the Thunder and it’s tough to fight back from that and when on the road against a team like the Bucks.
Next up: In Charlotte on Wednesday at 6:00 CST.