The Bucks played impressively on the road but dropped their eighth consecutive game.
Rationalizing a moral victory is a difficult task. Players want to win, coaches want to win and fans want to see their team win. No exceptions.
But for a Bucks team careening toward a last-place finish with just a handful of games remaining, falling by just eight points to one of the NBA’s best teams on their home floor is about as close to a moral victory as it gets.
After falling behind by double-digits in the first quarter, the Bucks (13-58) overcame a slow start to outscore Los Angeles (50-21) 27-22 in the second quarter, heading into halftime trailing 52-57. The teams traded baskets in the second half until a Darren Collison-fueled run put the Clippers up 71-60 with 5:33 remaining in the third. Milwaukee stormed back, however, going on a quick 10-2 run capped by a pair of Brandon Knight free throws.
Trailing 79-74 entering the fourth, the Bucks were able to keep things close until a pair of Blake Griffin free throws, followed by back-to-back Jamal Crawford baskets put the Clippers up 94-84 with just over six minutes remaining. Seven consecutive points from Ramon Sessions trimmed the lead back down to five, but the Clippers were able to get to the free throw line and close out the victory without issue.
Blake Griffin’s 27 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks paced Los Angeles. DeAndre Jordan added 10 rebounds with Chris Paul chipping in 14 points and seven assists. Darren Collison added 15 points and six dimes of his won, and Jamal Crawford scored 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting off the bench.
Ramon Sessions had the hot hand for Milwaukee, finishing with 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a team-high 44 minutes. Sessions connected on 13-of-21 field goal attempts and committed just one turnover. Brandon Knight struggled for the second straight game, scoring just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting with six turnovers. Starting in place of Ersan Ilyasova, who sat out with an ankle injury, Jeff Adrien put up 14 points and seven rebounds, while Zaza Pachulia added 14 points, eight assists and six boards.
Giannis Antetokounmpo made all four of his field goal attempts, finishing with nine points, three rebounds and this incredible sequence. The video really doesn’t do it justice.
– After leading Milwaukee with 21 points in Sunday’s loss to Sacramento, O.J. Mayo scored eight points on 3-of-7 shooting in 17 minutes. Conditioning appears to still be an issue for Mayo, who was chided on Twitter by former teammate Rudy Gay following Sunday’s game:
Rudy Gay on his friend and former teammate OJ Mayo being overweight after injury. "I guess when you're injured in Wisconsin, you eat"
— Sean Cunningham (@News10Sean) March 24, 2014
– Milwaukee outscored Los Angeles in the paint 54-40.
– John Henson played just 19 minutes but contributed a solid 10 points and seven rebounds.
– Brandon Knight is just 5-of-24 from the field over the last two games and has committed a combined nine turnovers.
– Zaza Pachulia handed out more assists than Chris Paul. Put it on the board.
Points: Sessions (28), Griffin (27)
Rebounds: Adrien/Henson (7), Griffin (14)
Assists: Pachulia (8), Paul (7)
Blocks: Udoh/Antetokounmpo (1), Griffin (3)