No Giannis? No problem.
The Sacramento Kings gave the Milwaukee Bucks all they could handle for three quarters Monday night at Fiserv Forum. But an NBA game is 48 minutes, not 36.
The NBA’s best team hit the Kings with a right cross to open the fourth and Sacramento never regained their footing. Despite the Kings’ best effort, Milwaukee came away with the 123-111 victory.
Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton all scored 20 or more for the Bucks as they to improve to 46-7 on the season.
Here are three takeaways as the Bucks snapped the Kings’ three-game win streak and dropped them to 21-32 on the season.
No Greek Freak
Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo came into the day questionable due to a personal issue. That reason became clearer early in the afternoon.
Liam Charles Antetokounmpo in the house❤️ pic.twitter.com/yVSf0U93le— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) February 10, 2020
Milwaukee came into the night 4-0 on the season without their superstar. They made it 5-0, giving Liam Charles Antetokounmpo his first victory.
The Bucks are the best team in the NBA this season. At 46-7, they are pacing for 71 wins on the season. Every once in awhile it’s okay for your best player to take a night off.
Do it again
Harrison Barnes put the Kings on his back and carried them Saturday in the team’s victory against the San Antonio Spurs. He was back at it again Monday in Milwaukee.
When the shots weren’t falling early, the 27-year-old challenged the Bucks bigs down low. When the Kings started the game 1-of-12 from long range, it was Barnes who finally started hitting.
Barnes scored 17 of his team-high 23 points in the first half. He shot 8-for-13 from the field, including 5-of-9 from long range and he added three assists.
Sacramento doesn’t need big offensive numbers from Barnes every night, but an occasional breakout game is welcome.
Find a way
De’Aaron Fox has nights when the shot just doesn’t fall. It is in those moments where he has to find a way to produce. That is exactly what the third-year point guard did against the Bucks.
Despite shooting just 5-of-19 from the field, Fox managed to hit the NBA’s best team for 17 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in the loss.
The rough shooting didn’t slow Fox. He continued to attack the teeth of the Bucks defense and create for both himself and others.