Milwaukee earned their 5th consecutive win Sunday afternoon as they played the visiting LA Clippers. Although the Clippers have a better overall record, they could not keep up with the home team, losing by 5 points.
Despite not having as good of a record as the Clippers, Milwaukee was still favored to win sports analysts and spectators. Many think this is due to the Clippers losing too many cross-over conference teams or barely stretching out a win against them this season. Since this loss, they remain in 2nd in the Western Conference; the Lakers hot on their tail, only down a game. With a win, Milwaukee also remains at the same place in standings, 3rd in the Eastern Conference. To advance to 2nd, Milwaukee will need the Nets to lose multiple games, as they will need to continue winning.
Overall, the match was close the whole way through. Through most of the first half, the teams were neck and neck, neither able to push ahead from the other. However, in the final minutes of the half, Milwaukee managed to get a slight lead to make it 53-48 heading into halftime.
From there, Milwaukee picked up intensity and kept a strong hold on the lead for a good portion of the third quarter. The Clippers were not going down easy, though; they fought their way back in the final minutes of the third to tie the game. Before the buzzer went off, the Clippers got ahead, turning the game around, Milwaukee trailing by 4.
It is safe to say this match was anything but predictable, and the fourth quarter proved to be the same way. Neither team converted more than a 3 point lead for longer than a minute before the other did the same. Once Milwaukee got back on top, it was another continuous battle to stay in the lead. It looked as though the Clippers would earn themselves a comeback, but Milwaukee was tough and rallied together as a team in the final moments to secure a hard-fought victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton once again made a difference for their team; it came down to their free throws when determining the winner. Had they missed, there’s a good chance the Clippers would have been the ones celebrating at the end.
Antetokounmpo was on fire, alone earning 36 points. This was his 4th straight game where he scored over 35 points. He is the 1st to do so for Milwaukee in 48 years. Middleton was next in line, adding 19 points to the score.
Later, after the game was over, Antetokounmpo spoke up about what it felt like to defeat such a hard-working team. He commented, “It’s great when you go against the best in the world down the stretch…” Middleton also joined in, similarly saying, “It’s a step in the right direction…But I think tonight was a great sign that we’re headed in the right direction as far as defensively.”
Unfortunately for the Clippers, they couldn’t match their opponents. Kawhi Leonard stated when the game had ended, “I thought we came down too slow…I feel like our pace has pretty much slowed down. You’ve got to give them credit, though. They locked in.”
Milwaukee prepares to face the Denver Nuggets at home on Tuesday, March 2nd. This game will begin at 9:00 ET and streamed on NBA League Pass, Fox Sports Wisconsin, and Altitude.
The Clippers are set to go against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, March 2nd at 7:30 ET and broadcast on NBA League Pass and TNT.