The Bucks (2-5) got off to a hot start last night in Orlando against the Magic (4-5), shooting the lights out in route to a season-high 36 point first quarter. It didn’t stop there, as Milwaukee continued to dominate the Magic throughout the second period and at one point owned a 19 point lead. The beaten up Bucks, who had just eight players available for the game, went in to halftime with a 54-45 lead.
Then, Arron Afflalo happened.
Afflalo brought the Magic back in the game with 29 point second half that included seven made three pointers. Afflalo, who had the go-ahead assist and game-clinching steal in the final minute, finished with a career-high 36 points on 11-15 shooting. The Magic completed the comeback and defeated the Bucks 94-91.
Despite their late-game collapse, Bucks did have a decent game offensively, shooting 33-74 (44.6%) from the field and grabbing 7 offensive rebounds. O.J. Mayo led the Bucks with a 25 point, 7 assist performance that also included 6 turnovers. Khris Middleton also had a big night, recording 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in his 43 minutes played.
Oh yeah, and THE ROOKIES DID THIS.
Mayo, Middleton, Wolters and Caron Butler and all played 40+ minutes in the game. The Bucks’ lack of rest was evident on the defensive end of the floor, particularly in the fourth quarter, when Orlando was getting all kinds of open looks.
Despite the loss, Coach Larry Drew was still impressed with his team’s effort. “We did wear down, you could tell,” Drew said. ” As short-handed as we were, we still put ourselves in great position. We just didn’t make plays down the stretch.”
Caron Butler hurt his left shoulder late in Wednesday’s game after a collision with Middleton. Butler took an MRI today and has been diagnosed with a sprained left shoulder.
Milwaukee will complete their three-game road trip on Friday night with a game in Indianapolis against their division rival, the Indiana Pacers.