Bucks use team-effort to defeat the Bulls without Giannis

Bucks use team-effort to defeat the Bulls without Giannis
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Bucks use team-effort to defeat the Bulls without Giannis (Chicago, IL) – In their last game against the Knicks, the Bulls were competitive until New York pulled away in the 4th quarter. Chicago now sits 2 games behind the Wizards for the final playoff spot, with only 10 games left. In their matchup tonight, the Bulls will be facing a team who have already cemented their playoff spot, the Milwaukee Bucks.

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The Bucks will be without two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, due to an ankle injury. Milwaukee still has two all-star caliber players, in Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. Holiday and Middleton scored 62 of the team’s 136 points combined on Thursday. In their last 4 wins dating back to April 17th, the Bulls have held opponents to 102 points or less. Chicago being the better defensive team for all 4 quarters will bode well for them against Holiday and the Bucks.

Bucks take advantage of Chicago’s slow start

Nikola Vučević had a rough start from the field for Chicago, missing his first five shots. The team as a whole also struggled, missing 13 of their first 17 shots. The Bucks capitalized on that, as they led 18-9 with 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter. Milwaukee led 28-16 going into the 2nd, behind 9 points from Bobby Portis.

The Bulls reduced their deficit down to 28-21 to start the 2nd, but their run was cut short. The Bucks scored 14 of the next 18 points to go up 42-25, with 6 minutes left in the quarter. Daniel Theis scored 7 straight points after the Milwaukee run, to keep them from pulling away. His personal run made the score 42-32 with 4 minutes left. The Bulls cut the lead down to 42-40 at one point, but Milwaukee led 53-44 going into the 2nd half.

Middleton and Holiday only had 9 points each, but they generated the Bucks offense with 10 assists combined. Brook Lopez led Milwaukee with 14 points in the 1st half. Chicago only shot 36% from the field in the 1st half, but their defense and 11 points from Theis kept the game within striking distance.

Portis and Lopez help Bucks pull away in the 3rd

Portis and Lopez scored 8 of the Bucks first 10 points to begin the 3rd. They helped Milwaukee extend their lead to 63-48, with 6.5 minutes left in the quarter. The Bulls trailed 75-63 with only 1.5 minutes remaining, but Jeff Teague scored the final 5 points of the frame. Milwaukee led 80-63 going into the 4th quarter.

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Middleton delivers late in the 4th, Bucks win

After only scoring 6 points combined in the 3rd, Vučevic and Coby White scored 11 points to start the 4th. They contributed to a 10-2 run for Chicago, cutting the Bucks lead down to 90-80 with 6 minutes left. Behind an “and-one” from Garrett Temple, the Bulls trailed 100-92 with 2 minutes left. Middleton closed the door on the Bulls comeback, with a three-pointer and two free throws to extend the lead to 107-96. The Bucks won the game, 108-98.

Milwaukee shot 47% from the field for the game and had 6 players in double-figure scoring. Middleton led the team with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Portis also had a double-double (16 points and 14 rebounds) and Lopez added 22 points.

The Bulls had a hard time scoring against Milwaukee, as they only shot 39% for the game. White led the team with 21 points and 7 assists. Vučevic added 17 points and 15 rebounds, but he missed 20 of his 27 shots.

Up Next

The Bucks (39-24) will face the Nets (43-21) on Sunday at 2:30pm CT.

Chicago (26-37) will play the Hawks (34-30) on Saturday at 7pm CT.

Bucks use team-effort to defeat the Bulls without Giannis

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