Milwaukee Bucks Grades, Reactions From 131-123 Loss To Oklahoma City Thunder

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Dec 29, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward

Giannis Antetokounmpo

(34) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder guard

Anthony Morrow

(2) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks got a career high 36 points from Khris Middleton, but that wasn’t enough to surpass Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On most nights two players combining for 63 points and a third missing a triple double by just one rebound and one assist usually amounts to a win. That wasn’t the case for the Milwaukee Bucks as they fell to the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder 131-123.

The Bucks got a career high 36 points from Khris Middleton (13-22, 6-9 from 3), who’s personal ten point run in the third quarter brought the Bucks within just two points of OKC.

But the Thunder started the fourth quarter with a pair of three-pointers from Anthony Morrow and pressed their advantage to nine points early in the period.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks fought back, reducing the margin to just six in the final minute. But when Khris Middleton’s three pointer rimmed out with :22 remaining, it took the Bucks chances with it.

There’s a moral victory in that the Bucks were able to play competitive basketball with the Thunder, in their building, for 48 minutes.

But the reality of situation is that the Bucks now face a 12-21 record and any preseason aspirations of playoff glory are quickly fading away.

Someday, if the Bucks stay the course and add important role players along the way, they will be competitive. They will learn from this–learn how to win. Learn how to play with the same energy regardless of opponent.

Perhaps the Bucks were premature in reaching the playoffs last season. Their postseason run may have created a false reading on the progress of this young team.

We’re still seeing progress–make no mistake of that. I would take an eight point competitive road loss over the nightly 30 point drubbings we sat through two years ago.

The trick is remaining patient and seeing the minutiae progress for what it is–baby steps.

For a more thorough look at the positives and negative of the Bucks 131-123 loss to Oklahoma City check out our Milwaukee Bucks grades and reactions.

Next: Reactions: The Good