The Milwaukee Bucks were able to shake off a dreadful first half performance to pull away with a 123-104 win over the rival Chicago Bulls. Here’s how each player fared in the game.
Describing this game as a game of runs would be putting it mildly. The Milwaukee Bucks looked objectively terrible in pretty much every facet of the game as they went into halftime down 63-45 to the 4-11 Chicago Bulls, in front of their home crowd.
After much being made about the Bucks’ slow starts this season leading up to the game by players and coaches alike, the Bucks went out and started with their worst half of the season. The Bulls came out white-hot, led by the returning Jabari Parker, who had 15 points in the first quarter.
The Bulls were hitting what seemed like every outside shot in the first quarter, dropping 40 points in the first frame. Things didn’t get much better in the second quarter, despite the Bucks season-long trend of dominating second quarters, they managed just 18 points in the frame and fell behind even further before going into halftime.
Things looked quite bleak at the time. The offense was completely stagnant with little off-ball movement, which led to many one-on-one situations and Bucks players taking tough shots. On defense, Parker and Justin Holiday combined to go 9-of-10 from beyond the three-point line, with Holiday going 6-of-6.
Then, the third quarter happened. The Bucks responded to probably their toughest adversity of the season so far about as well as one could hope, absolutely dominating on both ends as they turned an 18-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
The Bucks scored 45 points total in the first half, they scored 46 in the third quarter alone.
Led by Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who all had at least 23 points, the Bucks kept their foot on the pedal in the fourth quarter to the point where it was basically garbage time the rest of the way.
It was a profoundly strange game to watch. The Bucks were dreadful for large portions of the game, then put together one of the most lopsided quarters you’ll see in an NBA game, and were ahead by so much that most of the fourth quarter was meaningless. Zero to 100 real quick.
Parker ended up leading the Bulls with 21 points total, and Holiday also pitched in 20 points of his own in a losing effort. Antonio Blakeney had a nice game for the Bulls off the bench with 18 points. Zach LaVine, their leading scorer coming into the game (who was also reportedly battling a cold) had 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting from the field.
Now, let’s try to assign some player grades for this truly up-and-down team performance.