On Friday night, the Milwaukee Bucks were looking to extend their 13-game winning stretch to 14 as they hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. The last time the Bucks played against the Clippers, Milwaukee won by only five points, 129-124. This game brought a lot of excitement as fans were hoping to see reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo against last season’s NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Unfortunately, Leonard was sidelined due to load management which caused an uproar within the media.
But in this meeting, the Clippers brought out their dynamic duo, Leonard and Paul George. This was the first time that Leonard and Antetokounmpo played against each other since last season’s Eastern Conference Finals when Leonard was still playing for the Toronto Raptors. The new-look Clippers couldn’t get it done on this night, though, as Milwaukee obliterated Los Angeles by 28 points, 119-91.
Clippers vs. Bucks Game Recap
The Bucks came out hungry for their next win as they hit four consecutive threes in the first quarter and tallied a total of six before the start of the second. The Bucks ended the first on top, 30-15. The Clippers started to pick up the pace in the second quarter and trailed the Bucks by nine points, 52-43. Giannis tallied 10 points while Kawhi ended the half with 11 points.
The Clippers increased their deficit in the third quarter. With 9:12 left in the third, Antetokounmpo came in hot and drove down the middle with an open line and made a beautiful poster dunk to increase the Bucks lead to 12 points, 62-50. The Clippers finally started to pick it up on the defensive end, and with 7:18 left before the fourth quarter, Donte DiVincenzo went up for a shot and was brutally blocked by PG.
With only 2:54 left in the third, the Clips trailed the Bucks by 16. L.A. couldn’t seem to find their rhythm as they turned the ball over 16 times. To close out the third, the Bucks went on a 17-4 run and ended it with a 25 point lead, 87-62. The fourth quarter got ugly for the Clippers as they immediately increased their deficit to 34 points, 101-67. The game got so bad that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers pulled out his starters and put in his bench. Leonard, George, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams left the floor.
Leonard led the Clippers with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists. Tonight was Antetokounmpo’s 25th birthday and he celebrated by tallying 27 points, 11 boards and four assists. The Clippers now boast a 16-6 record and fell down to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Finals. The Bucks currently boast a 19-3 record, the league’s best.
“It was Giannis’s birthday. We searched all over the city to find a gift. Couldn’t find one, so we gave him this one. That’s all I can come up with. That’s the best I got because we were awful. … I didn’t think we were ready tonight,” Rivers said per The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.
This was the Clippers’ first game of their six-game road trip. They play the Washington Wizards on Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.