A poor second half effort dooms the Milwaukee Bucks against Nuggets

DENVER, CO - MARCH 25 (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MARCH 25 (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

After taking down the short-handed Utah Jazz the night before, the Milwaukee Bucks wasted no time hitting the road for a matchup against the Denver Nuggets the following night.

While it was a good game for the first 24 minutes, as the Bucks led by three at halftime, it seemed like Milwaukee’s legs on the second night of a back-to-back caught up to them. Denver outscored this Milwaukee team 66-40 in the second half, which propelled them to a 129-106 win. This was certainly an ugly one for the Bucks, who let the game slip out of their grasp in the second half.

A poor second half effort dooms the Milwaukee Bucks against Nuggets

With a three point lead coming out of the tunnel, the Bucks looked as cold as ever from the start of the third quarter on. They shot 7-of-25 from the floor (28 percent), including 1-of-7 from distance (14.3 percent). Meanwhile, the Nuggets got hot and shot 10-of-19 from the floor (52.6 percent), including 5-of-10 from three (50 percent), and changed this game entirely.

There was a momentum shift after Nikola Jokic grabbed a rebound late in the period as Denver led by three. Jokic was fouled by Bobby Portis, who also picked up a technical as a result of clapping in the big man’s face. The initial foul was ruled a transition take foul, giving the Nuggets a free throw on top of the technical foul. After making both, the Nuggets got their possession, which resulted in a Bruce Brown 3-pointer to put Denver up eight. It was a huge momentum-shifting sequence that the Bucks could simply not overcome.

As a whole, the Bucks shot 31 percent from the floor and 17.6 percent from three over the final two quarters, while the Nuggets shot 54.8 percent and 42.1 percent. It is hard to win games with that type of discrepancy, which the Bucks found out the hard way.

Following the loss, the Bucks still possess the East’s top seed at 53-21, but the Boston Celtics are not far behind at 51-23 (Two games back). After a loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Philadelphia 76ers are 49-25 (Four games back). The Bucks clearly want that top seed, so they will have to throw this game over their shoulder and regroup for the next one.

Next. 5 Players the Milwaukee Bucks gave up on way too soon. dark

Stay tuned as the Bucks take on the Detroit Pistons next.