Milwaukee Bucks: 3 takeaways from 125-123 loss to Brooklyn Nets

Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 18, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

Milwaukee Bucks against Brooklyn Nets takeaway No. 2 — The Bucks’ ‘Big 3’ rises to occasion

As we’ve seen in the handful of big games so far this Bucks season, their new ‘Big 3′ certainly rose to the occasion and collectively led the team to a chance to squeak out what would have been their best win on the season.

Between the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, the Bucks’ leading trio supplied 81 of the Bucks’ 123 points on the night on a combined 31-for-62 shooting. Add in Brook Lopez’s 15 points and the Bucks’ starting lineup accounted for 104 points against the Nets.

Starting with the two-time MVP, Antetokounmpo regularly feasted at the basket by scoring 18 paint points while sinking a pair of triples and showing off his shooting stroke from mid-range. Antetokounmpo had to do all of that while being dared to shoot from well outside the line and he thankfully put in a better outing from the free throw line by going 6-for-8 on the night after struggling from the dotted line previously.

The Bucks wouldn’t have been anywhere, though, without Middleton’s hot start on the night as he scored 14 of his 25 points over the first half. And by exclusively covering Kevin Durant for the majority of his minutes on the court, Middleton tried to clamp and leave the 2014 MVP with little space to get his shot off on the other side of the ball.

Of course, it was Middleton who had the chance to play the Bucks’ hero on the final possession but his contested corner 3-point attempt that came on the team’s out of bounds play rimmed out and left the Nets with the win.

Holiday’s fingerprints were all over the game and he arguably was the glue that held it all together for the Bucks until the very end. With his brilliance showing off on both ends of the floor as he toggled between Harden and Durant seamlessly defensively, the Bucks’ star guard finished with 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting (2-for-4 from three) and six assists.

The veteran guard was tremendous in trying to bother Harden in any way he could, whether it was picking him up straight away on inbounds plays or forcing turnovers as Harden was making his way to the basket. And on offense, Holiday was at his best driving down the paint and making incredibly tough finishes at the basket.

While it may have ended in defeat, the Bucks ‘Big 3’ put the team in a position to take what would have been a hard-fought victory.