Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton can’t come by for Bucks in OT loss to Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO — With simply 31.7 seconds remaining in Saturday’s recreation, Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo triggered the inbounds play in opposition to his former workforce with the Warriors down by three.

Covering Draymond Green within the nearside nook on the left aspect of the ground, Milwaukee Bucks heart Brook Lopez regarded across the ground and ready to assist his teammates. Once DiVincenzo was handed the ball, Warriors guard Stephen Curry whipped round a display screen from Green and sprinted to that very nook. Lopez ignored Green and stepped towards Curry, who was operating free as Jevon Carter had gotten caught on Green’s display screen.

As Lopez stayed connected to Curry to offer Carter time to get again to one of many biggest shooters in NBA historical past, Green flashed large open close to the free-throw line. DiVincenzo delivered him the ball and Green instantly turned towards the motion on the weak aspect of the ground. Pat Connaughton, who was overlaying Jordan Poole, trailed behind Poole to verify the Bucks didn’t permit Klay Thompson to whip off of a dribble handoff with Green for a 3-pointer.

With Connaughton targeted on Thompson, Poole slipped to the basket with nobody anyplace close to the rim. Green delivered a bounce cross on-time and on-target and someway Lopez swooped in out of nowhere for a game-saving block.

After Lopez secured the block he made off the backboard, there have been solely 27 seconds remaining. To prolong the sport, the Warriors would want to foul, so Lopez gave the ball to Holiday, who had simply hit a stepback 3 to offer the Bucks a 3-point lead. With the ball and probably the sport in hand, Holiday raced up the left sideline and dribbled the ball out of bounds with no actual strain.

“Essentially, we had the game, but I was being stupid,” Holiday mentioned. “Honestly, I was just dribbling and that ball didn’t come up, but that’s stupid. I just wanted to get across. I knew they had to foul. But I didn’t want to play with it in the backcourt, just wanted to get it across and then stand there. Stupid play. Stupid play on my part.”

The Warriors didn’t waste their second probability to tie the sport. Opting to play with no timeout, the Warriors entered the ball to Curry, who dribbled up the ground, creating area in opposition to Carter, and buried a stepback 3 to tie the sport with 18 seconds left.

In lower than 14 seconds of recreation time, the Bucks had sealed their victory with a tremendous defensive play, gave it away with a foolish turnover and watched Curry tie the sport to ship it to additional time the place the Warriors (35-33) ultimately received, 125-116. It was the second consecutive Saturday the Bucks (48-19) have been handed a primetime loss on nationwide tv.

While Holiday’s careless dribble out of bounds was maybe the most important miscue, it was removed from the one mistake the Bucks made whereas trying to shut the sport.

With 2:05 remaining within the fourth quarter, the Bucks took an eight-point lead at 108-100 when Holiday (18 factors, 9 rebounds and eight assists) discovered Joe Ingles for his fifth 3-pointer of the sport. From there, the Bucks gave up a 3 to Curry, Lopez missed a hook shot within the pick-and-roll with Ingles after which Curry buried one other 3 to chop the Bucks’ result in two.

In an try and seal the sport, the Bucks turned to Middleton (19 factors, three rebounds, 5 assists) to shut the sport in a two-man recreation with Bobby Portis (15 factors, 13 rebounds). When Middleton tried to isolate in opposition to Thompson although, he fell over and misplaced the ball, which Thompson collected and tossed forward to Curry to tie the sport at 108.

“I just rolled my ankle,” Middleton informed The Athletic. “Rolled my ankle at the wrong time. It happens. It’s unfortunate. I just gotta take that, but yeah, just rolled my ankle, fell, coughed up the ball for the potential game-tying layup.”

With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined for a 3rd consecutive recreation with proper hand soreness, the Bucks wanted Holiday and Middleton to win the sport, however they only couldn’t get it executed. Outside of Holiday’s 3-pointer to offer the Bucks the three-point lead earlier than his late turnover, they weren’t capable of get the job executed.

After Curry hit the 3-pointer to tie the sport at 108, the Bucks nonetheless had an opportunity to win the sport in regulation and turned to Holiday for what might have been the ultimate play of the sport. Rather than complicate issues, Budenholzer known as a easy motion on their sideline out of bounds play out of the timeout to get Holiday the ball and let him isolate in opposition to DiVincenzo.

Before Holiday even put the ball on the ground, DiVincenzo pressed up tight to the Bucks’ level guard, which allowed Holiday to get an angle on DiVincenzo and get previous him on his option to the rim. With good spacing on the play and 4 shooters on the ground, the one participant that would attempt to shield the rim was Curry and the long run Hall of Fame level guard truly blocked Holiday’s shot.

“I thought I had a lane,” Holiday mentioned. “Again, I should know that if I go in there, I’m not going to get a foul call. They’re going to swallow the whistle at the end of the game.”

The Bucks escaped to additional time when Draymond Green missed a 3-pointer on the buzzer, however finally fell aside within the closing interval. Their struggles within the further interval began with not having Middleton of the ground. After taking part in 32 minutes within the first 4 quarters, Middleton began additional time on the bench because the Bucks proceed to ramp him again as much as his regular minutes load.

“We’re trying to be very diligent in how we bring back Khris and keep him healthy,” Budenholzer mentioned. “He couldn’t play, he wasn’t going to play all five minutes of the overtime, so to have him as a closer, and he played — you know, those hard decisions, they don’t always work, but I think overall his body’s in a good place. We’re trying to take the long road with him. It’s hard, tough decisions in the middle of games.”

Middleton ultimately checked into the sport with 2:03 remaining, however the Bucks have been already down, 120-113, as a result of they couldn’t sustain offensively because the Warriors scored on three of their first 4 offensive possessions of additional time.

On his first offensive possession, Middleton hit a 3 to chop the Bucks’ deficit to 4, however the Warriors closed out the Bucks by beating them on the offensive glass.

After Middleton hit the three, it regarded like a lure by Middleton and Portis on the following defensive possession was going to pressure a turnover, however Holiday couldn’t safe a steal on an errant cross by Curry. Once Green beat Holiday to the ball and tipped it to Looney, the Bucks gave up an offensive rebound to Looney when Thompson missed a midrange jumper.

Looney made his first free throw, however missed his second, which Green tipped out to the perimeter for an additional possession for the Warriors. The Bucks defended the following possession nicely and compelled Curry to heave up a contested 30-footer, however as soon as once more did not safe the rebound to finish the possession.


“We needed to be better,” Budenholzer mentioned of the Bucks’ defensive-rebounding struggles. “I thought there were some times where we just stood and expected somebody else to get it. We didn’t go with the force and the mindset that we needed to get every rebound. I thought the offensive boards, especially early in the first quarter and the first half and then again a little bit late, that’s an area where I think we could be significantly better than we were tonight.”

For the Bucks, a loss to the defending champions on the highway with out their two-time MVP shouldn’t be the top of the world. Milwaukee was in an in depth recreation in a troublesome setting and managed to construct an eight-point lead behind some robust fourth-quarter playmaking and shotmaking from Ingles and Holiday, however finally squandered the lead with a collection of crunchtime errors by a few of the identical gamers that constructed the lead. Those are useful reps, even when the result didn’t go the Bucks’ method on Saturday.

(Photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

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