Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Ersan Ilyasova soars to the basket two of his 16 points.
After scoring just 13 points in the first quarter and falling behind by double-digits, the Bucks stormed back in the second half, outscoring Orlando 37-27 in the final period en route to a 105-98 victory.
It’s the first win over the last four games for Milwaukee (13-50), which fell to Sacramento, New Orleans and Washington last week, and the third consecutive loss for Orlando (19-46).
Brandon Knight once again led the charge for Milwaukee, scoring a game-high 24 points (9-23 FG) to go with six assists and three rebounds in 44 minutes. Knight was just 1-of-9 from three, however. Khris Middleton chipped in 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds, connecting on 5-of-8 attempts from beyond the arc. Ersan Ilyasova added 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Ramon Sessions continued his solid play, contributing 16 points and eight assists in 26 minutes off the bench.
Maurice Harkless was one of seven Magic players in double-figures, leading the way with 14 points and four rebounds. Nik Vucevic had 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Arron Afflalo struggled to finish with just 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Former-Buck extraordinaire Tobias Harris put up 11 points and eight rebounds, to go with four turnovers, in 26 minutes off the bench.
Trailing 51-45 at halftime, Milwaukee was down by as much as 15 before going on a 23-11 run to close the third quarter. The Bucks opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, grabbing a 77-71 lead with 10:30 remaining. A Middleon three with 4:26 remaining stretched the advantage to nine, and Giannis Antetokounmpo connected from beyond the arc less than two minutes later to put Milwaukee ahead 95-81.
The Bucks seemed to be back on track, losing three straight last week, but faltering Monday shrunk their lead over Philadelphia for the league’s worst record to just two games. The Sixers extended their season-best losing streak to 17 games with a 104-92 loss to Utah.
– Former-Buck Doron Lamb did not score, shooting 0-of-2 from the field and posting a minus-14 +/- rating in 13 minutes
– Jeff Adrien did not score in just five minutes of action, by far his lowest since coming over from Charlotte at the deadline. In the previous five, games Adrien averaged 11.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in 22.0 minutes.
-John Henson had 10 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes, the most he’s played since seeing 32 minutes last time these teams met on Feb. 18.
– Afflalo’s 12 points were the fewest he’s scored since putting up seven in a loss to the Pacers on Feb. 12. In the midst of a career year, the 28-year-old has been held under 10 points on just three occasions this season.
Points: Harkless (14), Knight (24)
Rebounds: Vucevic (12), Ilyasova (11)
Assists: Nelson (7), Sessions (8)
Blocks: O’Quinn (2), Antetokounmpo (2)
Steals: Harkless (2), Middleton (2)