Bucks Lead

Giannis Drops 50 & 30 as Bucks Extend Streak

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One of the supposedly distinctive fan enticements of baseball is the constant, yet very special, possibility of a no-hitter. On April 15th, 1987, Juan Nieves etched his name into Milwaukee lore by becoming the only Brewer to throw a no-no. However, on November 25th, 2019, Giannis Antetokounmpo proved to NBA fans that basketball offers the same opportunities. Monday, Giannis, for the first time, scored 50 points in a winning effort, as his Bucks quieted Utah 122-118. Milwaukee, perhaps contrary to some expectations, treated the win as another productive business day. For fans wandering outside in a daze, however, the night teased that the reigning MVP could startle again.

Then, in Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve showdown against a Turkey of a Hawks team, Milwaukee momentarily lost its focus. Thankfully, Giannis outdueled persona-non-grata Jabari Parker in a historic win.

Bucks-Jazz

Bucks Off-Pitch, But Gradually Learn Lyrics

Utah surprised Milwaukee by hitting 9 of 18 threes in the first half and bolting to a 57-48 lead. Giannis contributed a seemingly ordinary 18 points.

 

Thankfully, the law of large numbers caught the Jazz in the third, as Utah slumped to 9-of-22 shooting in the frame. A Giannis three (one of three on eight attempts, for a healthy 37.5%), evened the score!

Milwaukee edged ahead by ten early in the 4th, but Utah, jockeying in the west, kept fighting. Giannis’s effort to propel his basketball brothers defied belief.

(Note especially his fierce focus at 2:34).

Freaky, Frantic Finish

After his last dunk, Giannis labored to the line with 1:24 left and Milwaukee up 118-113. Giannis has hit important free throws before, but these would be for, gulp, points 49 and 50! The improving and soon-to-be master charity shooter nervously, yet decisively, hit both. However, five straight Jazz points and an Eric Bledsoe miss gave Utah a chance to tie or win. Nooooooooo! Not 50 points for nothing! No basketball player can win alone. Even in Wilt Chamberlain’s epic 100-point night, his teammates contributed 69. For Giannis’s dream night, his straight-man comedian companion Brook Lopez copyrighted the legend with a block.

After two final Pat Connaughton foul shots, the Jazz jukebox shorted out. After the horn, the Greek Freak remarkably exhibited a soft aura of friendliness and an acceptance of a very trying, yet victorious, exertion.

Bucks-Hawks

Turbulent Start

Thankfully, Giannis stayed away from premature turducken, with an energetic shimmy used-car floaties would love.

https://twitter.com/Bucks/status/1199858927355277313

Meanwhile, Khris Middleton played quite well in his minute-restricted return from injury. He contributed 19 minutes with a +/- of +13, with 16 points. He only shot 5 of 13, but overall it was an encouraging performance in a refreshingly quick resumption. Milwaukee raced to an 18-0 run to finish the first quarter and led 33-17. However, similar to early-season issues, the deer seemed to slow to a contented trot. The 4-13 14th place Hawks, losers of eight straight, took advantage, cutting the halftime deficit to one.

Not Parker!

Parker has expressed interest in a potential return to the Bucks’ roster. No, thank you, sir, we’ve moved on. Unfortunately, in what’s now an NBA staple, he shined in his revenge game. Parker tallied 33 points with a team-high +/- of +4. However, after Parker concluded his scoring, Bledsoe sunk an impressive heave despite having a Hawk clock him.

Milwaukee slowly pulled away from Atlanta in the last four minutes to win 111-102. Giannis again had the most antlers, recording his 18th straight double-double to begin 2019-20, the longest mark by any NBA player since ’76-77. (Who’s that Luka guy again? Surely not the MVP.)

Bucks Outrace NBA Jalopies

As the Bucks advance after a 9th straight summiting, their longest streak since ten straight in ’85-86, there’s little time to bask in a pleasant stupor. Four teams are within three games of the Bucks, giving Milwaukee little leniency for another top seed. One fact is absolute, however. Is Giannis “as good as gone,” as Bucks Lead overheard after an imperfect 2019 start? Nope. The only notion missing is any plausible argument for another man being the world’s most skilled hooper or more admirable sports role model.

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About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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