The Milwaukee Bucks dropped their first home game of the season on Wednesday night, falling to the Memphis Grizzlies in a close, and at many times, ugly game. Here’s how each Bucks player graded out.
In what could only be described as an ugly game, the Milwaukee Bucks fell at home at Fiserv Forum to the Memphis Grizzlies by a score of 116-113 on Wednesday night. The Grizzlies are known for playing grind-it-out games and they lived up to that reputation and then some, holding the Bucks to a poor offensive showing and making just enough shots to eke out a win in Milwaukee.
The loss dropped the Bucks to 11-4 on the season and 4-4 since starting the year 7-0.
The Bucks, in what has become a trend this season, got off to another slow start, falling behind 29-19 after the first quarter before narrowing the lead slightly in the second quarter to go into halftime down just four points. In the first half, the Bucks shot a putrid 4-of-24 from beyond the arc as seemingly no one was able to get going offensively.
Things didn’t get much better, shooting-wise, for the rest of the game for the Bucks. Despite reeling off a 27-4 run to end the third and begin the fourth quarter, little of that damage was done from the outside. The Grizzlies, who weren’t shooting much better either, caught fire in the fourth quarter from deep and were able to retake the lead and hold on to end the game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks, putting up 31 points on an uber-efficient 10-of-14 shooting from the field. Giannis had a terrific game from the free throw line after his disastrous showing at the charity stripe in the previous two games, going 11-of-12.
Giannis also chipped in nine rebounds and four assists, but once again struggled in protecting the ball with six turnovers.
Khris Middleton quietly had a solid night, scoring 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. But was just 2-of-7 from deep and also took awhile to get going in the first half.
Off the bench, Pat Connaughton continued his strong play of late, providing a spark that helped lift the Bucks from a 15-point third quarter deficit into the lead in the fourth quarter. He played 27 minutes, a season-high, as he both was playing well and took on some of Donte DiVincenzo‘s minutes, after the rookie left early in the second quarter with a knee injury.
The Grizzlies were led by their two stars, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Gasol notched 29 points and shot well from the outside, 6-of-12 from deep, while Conley pitched in 26 points and knocked down tough buckets toward the end to help close out the win.
Officiating was a storyline throughout the game, especially in the third quarter. Some questionable calls and tight whistles led to Eric Bledsoe picking up four fouls in barely four minutes of gametime, which prompted coach Budenholzer to argue and draw a technical foul.
Later in the fourth quarter, when Brogdon turned it over after falling out of bounds despite looking like he was pushed, Budenholzer again argued with the official and drew his second technical foul, prompting an automatic ejection. Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff also drew a technical foul for arguing calls.
With all of that considered, let’s grade out how each Bucks player fared on Wednesday night.