Free throws doom Mavericks in Milwaukee Bucks comeback win

Dec 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez; Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic
Dec 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks entered the fourth quarter Friday night down by 11 points, on the road and would lose Giannis Antetokounmpo with a chunk of the game to go and the game still lead by Dallas. The Milwaukee Bucks played some strong defense against Luka Doncic late, led by Khris Middleton who put up a blockade on Luka forcing him to pass out.

The Milwaukee Bucks also, according to Giannis Antetokounmpo, got some good fortune from the basketball gods. This game in essence boiled down to the last three minutes of the game.

Let’s look at how the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks got to those final decisive minutes.

Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks comeback against the Mavericks: How did the Bucks get down, then come back?

The Milwaukee Bucks were facing the Dallas Mavericks for the second time in less than two weeks, the other matchup being a more decisive win for the Bucks in Milwaukee. This matchup, very in favor of the Mavericks for the first 3.5 quarters, turned into a lesson in fundamentals and not giving up when you’re down until the clock hits all zeroes.

The first half of this game was pretty close, the Milwaukee Bucks held a 52-48 lead despite Giannis Antetokounmpo shooting just 2-of-10 from the field and only recording five points. The third quarter is when the Dallas Mavericks grabbed a stranglehold on the Bucks, the Mavericks won the third quarter 36-21, taking the Bucks from up four to down 11. Every Maverick that touched the floor with the exception of Spencer Dinwiddie scored in the third quarter.

Then this game turned into must watch television, admittedly some big dunks by Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie had the home crowd behind the Mavericks. However, the Milwaukee Bucks showed some championship mettle and stuck with their game and chipped away and chipped away at the Mavericks lead.

With eight minutes to go and the Mavericks leading by as many points as there was time remaining, the Bucks got an and-one layup by Giannis Antetokounmpo, three of his 15 points in the quarter. The Bucks got a stop, a layup by Grayson Allen, another stop and then another and-one by Giannis. In just over a minute, the Mavericks went from up eight, to looking up and seeing the game tied at 94 with just under seven minutes to play.

That’s where things get even more interesting.