The Kings entered the game on Monday night in Milwaukee with high hopes. The Bucks superstar – Giannis Antetokounmpo – was ruled out the game because he wanted to be with his new-born son (who we all expect to be the number one overall draft selection in 2038). Without “the freak” on the floor, the Kings knew they had at least a fighting chance versus the powerful Bucks.
The Kings (21-32) fell behind early, and it looked like it might be a walkover game for Milwaukee (46-7) even without Giannis. At the end of the first quarter, the Bucks held 38-24 lead.
Sacramento rebounded in the second quarter. The Kings outscored the Bucks 34-19 in the second period behind the 13 point barrage by Harrison Barnes. Barnes went 4-for-4 from the floor with all three of his 3-point attempts finding their mark. He also converted both of his free throw attempts. The Kings went to the locker room at halftime with a 58-57 lead.
The two teams went into an epic battle in the third quarter and went toe to toe. The Kings outscored the Bucks 32-31 in the quarter and held a 90-88 advantage at the end of 36 minutes.
The Bucks started the final quarter with a 13-0 run and never looked back. Milwaukee went on to outscore the Kings 35-21 in the fourth quarter as they fell 12 points short when the final buzzer sounded.
Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe were the leading scorers in the game scoring 28 points each
Harrison Barnes was the Kings top scorer with 23 points
The Glass Cleaners
Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton made it a double-double game by pulling down 11 rebounds
De’Aaron Fox and Nemanja Bjelica grabbed eight rebounds each for the Kings
De’Aaron Fox was the game’s assist leader with 11 which gave him a double-double game
Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe dropped eight dimes each for the Bucks
The Kings will be back in action on Wednesday night in Dallas.
The Bucks will travel to Indianapolis to play the Pacers on Wednesday night.
If you turned off the Kings – Bucks game after watching for just four-minutes and 15-seconds, you know the score was Milwaukee 14 and Sacramento 0. The Kings entire starting lineup had not scored a point and were sent to the bench after just three-minutes and 10-seconds of playing time. So, to see the final score be Milwaukee 109 to 104 for Sacramento must come as a great shock to you.
Even more shocking to you who turned off the game may be the fact the Kings cut the Bucks lead to just one-point with 1:43 to go in the game. The Kings never held the lead in the contest but they had a legitimate chance to win the game with under two minutes remaining to play.
The Game Summary
The Kings starting five did not score a point in the opening quarter of the game. They scored just 16-points in the first-half which is lowest scoring total for a starting five in the NBA since 2014. Buddy Hield scored 13-points for the second-unit and Zach Randolph put up 12-points to help keep the Kings in the game. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 19 points, Eric Bledsoe put 16 in the books and Khris Middleton scored 14 points to lead the Bucks to a 63 – 52 lead at half-time.
The Kings had to start the third quarter without Willie Cauley-Stein who strained his lower back. The injury was not deemed serious but the team wanted to be cautious and sat him on the bench for the second-half.
The Bucks came out in the third-period and caught fire just like they had at the beginning of the game. They opened up a 20-point lead twice in the quarter with eight-points from “the Freak”, five put up by Middleton and five recorded by Brogdon in just over three-minutes on the floor. At the end of three-quarters, the Bucks held an 88-76 lead.
In the final period, it was all about the second-unit for the Kings once again. The Kings were led by Bogdon Bogdanovic who led the Sacramento scoring with nine-points. “Bogi” showed the world he is not afraid to take charge when the pressure is on. Buddy Hield added six-points while Frank Mason III and Z-Bo each put up four-points.
The Kings outscored the Bucks 28-21 in the final quarter but the opening runs by Milwaukee in the first and third periods proved to be too much and the Bucks won the game 109-104.
The Kings made a great comeback but it was not enough for Coach Joerger
Zach Randolph led the Kings scoring attack against the Bucks with 22-points. He went 10-for-15 from the floor.
Buddy Hield jumped back in the scorebook in a big way with 19-points. He shot 6-for-12 from the field and hit 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line. Hield also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.
De’Aaron Fox overcame a poor early start to record 14-points. He shot 5-for-10 from the floor while hauling in six rebounds and distributing three assists.
Frank Mason III had another amazing game. The second-round draft pick showed again why many thought he would go late in the first-round. He put up 13-points and added three assists in the effort to overcome the Bucks early onslaught.
“The Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo was the game’s leading scorer with 33-points, 13-rebounds and five assists. The 22-year old is simply amazing.
Khris Middleton recorded 25-points hitting 9-of-15 shots from the floor. He went 3-for-5 from 3-point land.
Eric Bledsoe – who has found new life in Milwaukee since his trade from Phoenix – scored 19-points while converting 9-of-10 opportunities from the free throw lines.
SAC hit 37-of-77 attempts from the floor for 48.1-percent field goal shooting (which would usually mean a win)
The Kings went 11-for-24 (45.8-percent) from behind the 3-point line. Again that percentage would normally be associated with a win.
The team converted 19-of-21 (90.5-percent) chances from the charity stripe. See the Bucks stats to realize why those numbers are not that impressive.
The Kings had 20 assists and 15 turnovers. That is far below the desired 2:1 assists to turnover ratio that is the goal in the NBA.
The Bucks shot 49.3-percent from the field (34-for-69). They hit just 6-of-19 (31.6-percent) from behind the 3-point line.
The Bucks really helped themselves from the free throw line. They hit 35-of-42 chances from the stripe in the game.
The Bucks use the Fast Break to perfection as they outscored the Kings 13-2 on the break in the game.
The team flew home after the game and will head back on the road on Tuesday when they will travel to Cleveland to get ready for a game of Wednesday with the Cavaliers.
Milwaukee will return to action on Monday night in Boston versus the Celtics.
One last note
Justin Jackson who is on assignment with the Reno Bighorns of the G-League scored 26-points, grabbed six rebounds and added three assists on Saturday night.