Following their In-Season Tournament defeat, the Milwaukee Bucks have been rolling.
Winners of four in a row, the Bucks welcomed the San Antonio Spurs to Fiserv Forum. However, San Antonio was set to be without a key piece, as rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama was ruled out leading up to the matchup. Still, even without the rookie phenom, this was an exciting game that featured history being made, which has happened to the Bucks quite a bit lately.
Damian Lillard reaches incredibly rare milestone as Milwaukee Bucks beat the Spurs
Lillard entered this matchup just a few points short of tallying 20,000 for his NBA career, and it did not take him long to reach that mark with a red-hot first quarter. The guard became just the 51st player in the history of the league to notch that many points in their career. Congrats to Lillard for reaching an incredibly rare feat.
He kept tacking on points as the contest went on, having had one of his best games in a Bucks jersey. Lillard finished with a season-high 40 points, shooting 14-of-22 from the floor and 7-of-12 from deep. Like his point total, Lillard's seven made triples were a season-high. The guard was flat-out cooking in this one as his production continues increasing for the Bucks as the season progresses.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was not his typical self in the scoring department, as he finished with just 11 in this matchup. However, he was undeniably more focused on his facilitating, having finished with 16 total assists, a new career-high. With 14 rebounds to go along with that line, the Greek Freak had his second triple double of the season.
Milwaukee's second-leading scorer was Bobby Portis, who had 23 points to go along with 10 boards. The big man has been in a tremendous groove since reportedly trying to rally the team following that In-Season Tournament loss, and his play has been big off of the bench. He's the leader of this bench brigade, and he's undeniably risen to the task over these past handful of games.
Khris Middleton continued his recent string of solid performances in extended minutes, having tallied 17 points, four assists, three rebounds, and a steal. He showed that his jumper is still beyond pure by knocking in a handful of smooth shots. His minutes are still being closely monitored, so Middleton may very well have another gear as he continues to find his footing.
Brook Lopez, who has been excellent on both sides of the ball this season, stayed true to form by finishing with 14 points and six blocked shots. This could be said after nearly every game, but it's crazy what the big man is doing on both ends at 35 years old, as he's playing some of the best ball of his career, especially on the defensive end.
To round out Milwaukee's side of things, rookie Andre Jackson Jr., who moved back to the bench after starting the last two games in place of an ill Malik Beasley, impressed once again. He stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal while serving as an energizer on both ends. The Bucks undoubtedly need to keep him involved in things moving forward.
For San Antonio, Keldon Johnson led the way with 28 points, while Zach Collins followed with 22. Four other Spurs players finished in double figures, but it was not enough in the end.
The Bucks will face a nice test when they welcome the Orlando Magic to town in the coming days.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.