The Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night, 123-108. Milwaukee improved to 4-0, which is the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference. This is the first time they’ve started 4-0 since 2001. The Bucks won behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first triple-double of the season. Prior to Wednesday’s game against the “6ers,” Giannis was averaging 27.3 points per game, 16.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists on the season. In his 3 games against Philly last season, Giannis averaged 25.3 points per game on nearly 50% shooting, 12.3 rebounds per game, and 5.3 assists. With numbers like that it is hard to get better, but Giannis always defies the odds and produced an electric performance last night.
During the first quarter, the whole offense was off (shot 23.8% from the field) and Giannis was no different even though his first bucket was an And-1. He had 5 points on 1-3 shooting, 2 rebounds and 0 assists. The Bucks trailed by 12 when the first buzzer went off to end the quarter. The second quarter was a different story. Giannis started it off with a thunderous right hand slam off a DiVincenzo screen. This seemed to light a spark in the butts of the Milwaukee players. Shortly after that, Giannis had a fast break off a steal and did a casual windmill like it was no big deal. After being down early, the Bucks earned their first lead of the night with 8 minutes left in second on a Middleton three assisted by Giannis. At the end of the first half, the Bucks overcame a double-digit deficit and were up 71-64. Antetokounmpo was much better in the second quarter than the first. He was more active offensively by taking what they defense gave him and not forcing plays. He set up his teammates for easy shots and that created more opportunities as well. Giannis had 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in only 18 minutes of play in the first half. He was already on triple-double watch with another 24 minutes to play.
The third quarter started with a Giannis miss, a Giannis offensive rebound, and a Giannis put-back. The quarter went well for Milwaukee as they were able to extend their lead by a few points before it was over. During the third, Antetokounmpo broke Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record for most rebounds in the first 4 games of the season (60). Giannis has 66 rebounds after 4 games, which is also leading the league. Another great moment for Giannis in the third was when he showed off his incredible strength. He was able to draw a foul on Philadelphia guard, Markelle Fultz, and knocked him over like it was me playing against my 9-year-old brother.
Throughout the fourth quarter the Bucks held a continuous double-digit lead and won the game. The 76ers had no answers for Milwaukee and the dominant play of their stars. Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his first triple-double of the season tallying 32 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists. This is sure to be the first triple-double of many for Giannis this year.
*All stats according to espn.com and basketball-reference.com*