December 29, 2017, 3:18 am
It was looking like the Wolves were well on their way to a sixth-straight victory late in the third quarter. The Wolves were up by 20 points, the offense was humming and the defense was good enough.
Then the wheels started to loosen. Milwaukee ended the quarter on a 21-10 run and closed the gap to nine points headed into the fourth. Tyus Jones and Andrew Wiggins suffered minor injuries and were forced out of action temporarily, which seemed to throw the Wolves off balance.
The wheels just ended up falling off after that. The Bucks opened the quarter on yet another run, going 13-4 to tie the game. Milwaukee took their first lead of the game with 2:25 left in the game off an Eric Bledsoe 3-pointer. Wolves were out scored 27-12 in the final quarter.
The Wolves were playing off a back-to-back, so it’s possible to point at that fact as a reason the team ran out of gas late in the game. With a 20-point lead though, even a tired squad has to close out a game better than that.
The rotations tonight were extremely tight. Besides Jamal Crawford, who stole minutes at the point guard position tonight, no bench player exceeded 15 minutes. Dieng, Bjelica, Brooks and Georges-Hunt played a combined 28 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns had a nice game with 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers. He also shot 8-of-12 from the field. His second half though he was very quiet. He didn’t generate many touches inside or on the block.
Butler followed up his 39-point performance with 20 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals on 6-of-16 shooting and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Wiggins stayed hot with 21 points and four 3-pointers on 7-of-14 shooting. Tyus Jones didn’t score much, but swiped five steals on the night, adding five assists, four rebounds and six points.
On the night the Wolves shot 47.9 percent from the field to the Bucks’ 54.7 percent.
Eric Bledsoe was the major factor on the night for the Bucks with 26 points, six assists, five rebounds, five steals and two 3-pointers. Bledsoe also hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:25 left, followed up with a layup and-one, then assisted on Giannis’ layup to put the game out of reach for the Wolves.
Giannis finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a fairly modest night for the Greek Freak.
Up next the Wolves face off with the Pacers on Sunday. It will be a rematch from the early season beat down the Pacers gave the Wolves.