3 takeaways from the Milwaukee Bucks’ close win over Sacramento Kings

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Serge Ibaka, Sacramento Kings: Trey Lyles
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 16 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Fresh off a feel-good win over the Utah Jazz on Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks continued their West Coast road trip as they visited the Sacramento Kings last night.

An interesting storyline leading up to this game was Donte DiVincenzo, whom Milwaukee sent to Sacramento at the trade deadline. This game marked the first time that DiVincenzo would square off against his former team, and all eyes were on him. The guard certainly looked like he had some extra motivation for this matchup as his big night helped the Kings go toe to toe with the champs, having tallied 19 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Despite DiVincenzo’s best efforts, it was not enough as the Bucks pulled away late to secure a 135-126 victory, their 12th consecutive win against the Kings.

With that being said, let us break down some of the biggest takeaways from Milwaukee’s big win.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ depth showed itself as the reserves delivered solid help

With the Bucks getting healthier and having to reintegrate some key pieces into the lineup lately, head coach Mike Budenholzer has had his hands full piecing together his rotations. However, too much depth is certainly not a bad thing, as evidenced by last night’s game, where the Bucks got a quality amount of contributions from all their reserves.

The two biggest second unit contributors for the Bucks were Wesley Matthews and Serge Ibaka. Matthews chipped in eight points while knocking down two 3-pointers, scoring his most points in a contest since January 10. Given how mightily of a slump Matthews has been in offensively lately, his scoring stole the show, but he stuffed the stat sheet all around with six rebounds, three steals, and two assists in 20 minutes. Ibaka followed with eight points of his own while pulling down two rebounds, having given the Bucks some solid action as Brook Lopez remains on a minutes limit.

Speaking of Lopez, he did not put up the flashiest numbers with three points and two boards in his 15 minutes of action, but his presence was once again felt on the defensive end. Per NBA.com, the big man held Sacramento center Domantas Sabonis to just seven points on 2-of-6 shooting from the floor throughout the time they were matched up. The Bucks have missed his defensive energy throughout the year, and it undoubtedly feels good to see him back on the floor making an impact in his second game back.

Lastly, the backup point guards both clocked in solid games. In his second game back, George Hill tallied six points on 2-of-3 shooting from deep with two rebounds and an assist in 17 minutes of playing time. Carter added three points, four rebounds, and an assist while playing his usual brand of reputable defense. Carter logged about five fewer minutes than Hill in this matchup, and it will be worth monitoring how Budenholzer manages these two backup point guards moving forward.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ bench has struggled to contribute consistently some nights this year, but last night was not one of them as there was more than enough help to go around.