Led by the same Wizards for the first game of 2023, the Bucks were eager to redeem themselves for this second straight showdown with the return of Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The locals were determined to respond and the circle felt it after Pat Connaughton and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s transition early in the game. Two 3-pointers by Jrue Holiday then allowed the Bucks to take control (32-28) after 12 minutes of play.
Washington, undefeated in five matches, also grew in confidence and did not miss the opportunity to show it. This 15-2 run, highlighted by 3-point baskets from the trio of Morris-Kispert-Porzingis, allowed DC to come back (46-49). Led by the relentless Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ response was swift: a 15-0 +12 (61-49) before halftime!
Despite good passes from Brook Lopez or Bobby Portis, Milwaukee struggled to get the Wizards out of harm’s way. The scenario repeated itself after returning from the locker room, because even at -14 (65-51), Washington found the resources to get back into touch.
In particular, 3-pointers from Kristaps Porzingis, Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura, and then two consecutive baskets from Daniel Gafford completely restarted the match at the beginning of the last half (90-85).
The locals held out and Washington finally cracked. To accompany Giannis Antetokounmpo’s devastating enterprise, Brook Lopez will be decisive, starting the cycle with a 3-pointer and a dunk, then two consecutive dunks (109-102) with two rebounds.
The “Greek Freak” paced the Wizards with two shots and 2 + 1 to score 50 points (116-104) and lead his team to the final victory 123-113.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Giannis Antetokounmpo is off to a good start. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who hurt his knee during the previous confrontation between the two teams, has clearly improved! Tasked from the outset of the match, the interior consistently proved unplayable, relying on its strength and passing game to continue to hit the opposition racket. Struggling to settle in the fourth quarter, the “Greek Freak” nearly single-handedly forced the decision by scoring 19 points in the period, bringing his new career high to 55 stitches.
– Bad luck for Beal. The number 13 won’t be his luck, as the Wizards’ leader will only be on the floor for 13 minutes. Hit with hamstrings, Bradley Beal finally returned for the second half. It was the same injury that forced him to miss the previous two matches. Daniel Gafford, who clearly injured his right arm at the very end of the game, also left his teammates.
✅ Giannis Antetokounmpo. A promising first match for the “Greek Freak” in 2023. Memorable dunks, great efficiency near the rim, and missed opportunities at every opportunity. On the verge of sealing a new career record for monumental dunks, which ultimately fell short, he finished with 55 points, using Kristaps Porzingis as active as a cone in the finals for 5 personal fouls. , set a new record.
✅ Portis-Lopez pair. In this matchup, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s two main lieutenants are important to bring some alternative in the attack in the absence of Khris Middleton, but also to provide a return as they take more than half of the dollars between them. Also note Brook Lopez’s 6 blocks, two of which came late in the game to complete his brilliant fourth quarter.
⛔️ Kyle Kuzma. 28 shot attempts! We got the impression that he was crawling in his spleen as the match progressed. Zero points on six 3-point attempts didn’t help. are you worried?
Milwaukee (23-13): “back-to-back”, the Bucks are expected this Wednesday in Toronto (1:30).
Washington (17-21): The Wizards finish their road trip this Friday at OKC (2:00 p.m.).