The Milwaukee Bucks made sure that Washington’s five game homestand ended the same way that it began, with a loss at their hands. Giannis Antetokounmpo had his first career 20-20 game, scoring 27 points and pulling down 20 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe delivered when needed late, finishing with 23 points. The Bucks beat the Wizards 104-95, Wall led the way with 27 points and 9 assists. Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre had 19 points a piece, but turnovers is what really cost Washington. They committed a season-high 24 turnovers and Milwaukee made them pay for it, scoring 25 points off those errors. The Washington loss means they ended their home stand at 2-3. Their next five games are on the road before returning home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Wizards started out of the gates slow, falling behind 10-3 before finding a rhythm. Milwaukee didn’t do anything great, they just took what was given to them. Washington had six turnovers, resulting in eight points for the visiting Bucks. Giannis scored nine points, but he did it off put backs and tip ins mostly. Middleton, got off to a quick start as well, hitting a few midrange shots. The teams traded baskets for most of the period, but Wall broke the tie with a midrange jumper, his 16th point of the quarter.
After taking care of the ball relatively well against Orland and Brooklyn, Washington regressed to their level of play against the Jazz. They turned the ball over 23 times in that one, in the second quarter alone the Wizards turned it over 11 times. That was the direct reason that Milwaukee won the quarter 25-21. Malcolm Brogdon scored seven points, mostly by getting out in transition. The Bucks tied things up at 51 on a Brogdon triple with 33 seconds left. An ill advised shot by Wall, led to a leakout by Brogdon and that’s how the Bucks took a two point lead into the break.
Share Leaders a he half: Wall led Washington with 22 points, Beal was right behind him with 13 points. Giannis and Brogdon led the way for Milwaukee with 11 points a piece. Washington was out-rebounding the Bucks 21 to 13 and shooting 53% from the floor. Those two stats would typically belong to a team that was in control of the game, but none of that mattered because of Washington’s 17 turnovers.
The Wizards were able cut down on their turnovers in the third quarter, but they traded that issue for another. Poor shooting. It’s not like the Bucks shot great, they shot just 44%, but they shot well from beyond the arc (60%) and got to the line nine times.
Antetokounmpo, like he did at the beginning of this home stand, started to assert himself a bit more on the offensive end. Scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds, three of which were on the offensive end. Eric Bledsoe helped loosen the defense a bit with a couple of three pointers, it was a shot Washington wanted him to take and he made them pay for it. The shooting struggles for Washington’s backcourt was in issue this period, Wall and Beal shot a combined 3-for-11. Milwaukee made a push late to take a nine point lead after Middleton found Brogdon for a three pointer, a floater from Mike Scott cut the Washington deficit to nine with 56.4 seconds left in the quarter. Washington would cut it to six when Wall swung the ball to Oubre for a triple, Kelly had two Bucks defenders closing in and still made the shot.
As the game progressed, Washington took less and less quality shots. Part of it was decision making, some of it also had to do with Milwaukee’s length. The Bucks held Washington to just 33% shooting, including just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. The one constant was Oubre, he followed up his nine point third quarter by scoring eight in the fourth. Bledsoe once again played a role in closing out the Wizards, scoring 11 points in the final period and Giannis continued to do a little bit of everything.
Washington did have a two point lead with 5:55 left in the game, but they couldn’t capitalize on it. After a turnover by Wall, Milwaukee pushed the ball in transition. The Wizards got four players back to defend, forcing the first shot to be missed, but no one boxed out Eric Bledsoe and he put the ball back in to tie things at 93. The Bucks then went on a 7-0 run, holding the Wizards scoreless for the next four minutes. The Wizards scored with 32.1 seconds left in the game on an Otto Porter jump shot. The Bucks were leading 102-95 at that point, from there the foul game was played.