Game in Review: Milwaukee Bucks v. New Orleans Pelicans – March 12

Mar 12, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) looks for a shot against New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5) in the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) looks for a shot against New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5) in the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks grabbed their second straight win in a predictably dull game between two teams battling some of the NBA’s lengthiest injury lists.

Starting Lineups – Milwaukee Bucks: Jerryd Bayless, Khris MiddletonGiannis AntetokounmpoJabari ParkerGreg Monroe

New Orleans Pelicans: Toney Douglas, Luke Babbitt, Dante Cunningham, Anthony Davis, Omer Asik

Following multiple days off since their win over the Miami Heat, the Milwaukee Bucks returned to action for the first half of a weekend double-header.

If the Bucks were concerned about any sort of rest/rust trade off, their opponents, the New Orleans Pelicans certainly weren’t afforded such a luxury.

The Pelicans were on the road in Memphis on Friday night making this the second night of a back-to-back for a roster which has already been cruelly worn down by injuries. They also lost that game against the similarly injured Grizzlies in heartbreaking fashion having gone to overtime.

Having done battle with one team who have been plagued by injuries on Friday, the Pelicans faced another team with health concerns as the Bucks continue to get even more short-handed.

More from Bucks News

Thinking back to the previous meeting between both of these teams, you may remember the Pelicans punishing Milwaukee from behind the three-point line, in fact they even set a franchise record with 17 made triples. As a result, it was no surprise when New Orleans came out looking to test that strategy out again in the early running.

As much as the shot opportunity was there for them, New Orleans had little success in hitting the long ball, and going 2-10 in the first quarter would ultimately set the tone for what was to come.

Elsewhere, the Bucks came out aggressively in terms of their on-ball defense. Forcing turnovers to create transition opportunities seemed like an early focus for Milwaukee. The disruption made the Pelicans visibly uncomfortable and although the Bucks couldn’t sustain it for the entirety of the game, they did bring it out in bursts to great effect.

After an 18-10 start, it looked like the Bucks were really set to push on and put themselves into a dominant position from the get-go, but having not started the game, the introduction of Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson was a welcome boost for New Orleans.

Consecutive triples from Anderson and Babbitt brought things a little tighter, and the first would finish 33-28 in Milwaukee’s favor, with very few highlights bar an emphatic Giannis rejection.

As the second quarter got underway and the Bucks bench entered the game we got a real sense of just how stretched the Bucks rotation currently is. On superhero night in the Bradley Center it was time for an unlikely hero to step up, and Tyler Ennis was the man to oblige.

Ennis started the second with a triple, before quickly adding another three-point play courtesy of an And-One, and then making it eight points in a three minute span thanks to a beautiful floater high off the backboard.

That allowed Milwaukee’s lead to stretch out to 12 points, although some lax transition defense would allow a 7-0 Pelicans run and narrow the gap again. The two teams entered the half with the Bucks leading 55-52.

Having seen so much strong play from him of late, it almost felt like an alien experience to see Jabari Parker struggling again. Two poor turnovers early in the third quarter were indicative of the rest of his play on a night where he racked up six turns in total, but still managed to record a respectable 15 points thanks to strong work at the line.

Large chunks of the second half were dictated by foul throws in a game that proved to be far from glamorous, even if Milwaukee’s 19-24 from the charity stripe did serve them well.

Perhaps the most intriguing battle of the evening came on the jumbotron as Jabari and Rashad Vaughn squared off in a lip sync battle. Parker started proceedings strong as his appearance at least proved strong commitment even if miming in time wasn’t his strong suit.

The rookie performs with a microphone like an old vet though. Taking on a Whitney Houston classic, Vaughn proved himself to be the team’s lip sync king.

Am I really talking this much about a lip sync battle?

Yes. That’s how exciting this game was…

Back on the court what started as a cagey fourth quarter for both sides, took off in Milwaukee’s favor behind strong play from Jerryd Bayless. A big three-pointer, followed by a breakout fastbreak slam established a strong finishing spot for the Bucks.

It was Khris Middleton who would really unleash and twist the dagger though. On a night when he posted 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, Middleton concluded his night by doing this to Jrue Holiday.

Before it was all said and done we’d even get a Damien Inglis basket! A nice win for the Bucks, if not their most exciting performance.

103. 89. 92. 69. Final

The Bucks will be back in action on Sunday night in Brooklyn against the lowly Nets as they look to win their third straight game.