Wesley Matthews comes up clutch in the fourth as Bucks beat the Bulls

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 05 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 05 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Entering Wednesday’s matchup with the Chicago Bulls, the Milwaukee Bucks had a chance to lock up the East’s top seed with a win.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out, it would be a bit more challenging. Things got even more difficult when Khris Middleton got hurt early on and was pulled from the game. Without those two key cogs, other Bucks needed to step up on the fly. Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez, and Jrue Holiday all did just that, having exceeded 20 points each. While he didn’t score more than 20 points, another Buck who had a major impact on the outcome of this game was Wesley Matthews.

Wesley Matthews comes up clutch in the fourth as Bucks beat the Bulls

With Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton already sidelined due to injuries, Middleton’s absence only thinned out Milwaukee’s wing depth even further. Coach Budenholzer called upon Matthews to take on a larger role, and the veteran accepted. The swingman logged 30 or more minutes for the third time this season and made every minute count, especially late.

In the first three quarters, Matthews hauled in his share of rebounds and played strong defense but remained scoreless. His first bucket was an incredibly smooth reverse layup that drew some applause from the Fiserv Forum crowd. Next, he snatched an offensive rebound off a Holiday miss and put it back for two points. Matthews’ biggest shot of the matchup was his only 3-point make, which came in transition off a Holiday pass to put the Bucks up by nine points.

In total, Matthews finished with seven points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a blocked shot as he stuffed the stat sheet all-around.

Even at 36 years old, Matthews continues showing that he can have an impact whenever he is on the floor. He’ll typically be out there for his defense, as he’s a physical wing who can make things a challenge for opposing scorers. While he’s been streaky this season, Matthews can also get hot on the offensive end at times, which is always a big plus. He’s a player who is fine with doing all of the dirty work as long as it impacts winning. Due to what he brings to the table nightly, Matthews is arguably one of Milwaukee’s biggest secret weapons.

The Bucks will be back in action Friday night to take on the Memphis Grizzlies before their regular season finale against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

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With two games to go, the 58-win Bucks still have a chance to secure a 60-win regular season.