Number one defense in NBA smothers Magic; Bucks win 112-95

Giannis Antetokounmpo goes up for the slam for two of his 19 points. Antetokounmpo finished one assist short of a triple-double. Photo by Robert Beltran, EBC Florida Bureau, Eagle News Service.

By Robert Beltran
EBC Florida Bureau

ORLANDO, Fla. (Eagle News) – The number one defense, Milwaukee Bucks proved to be too much for the Orlando Magic, defeating them 112-95. The Bucks out-rebounded the Magic 52 to 36 and held them to only 37.8% field goal shooting and 25% from beyond the arc.

“You know overall, I think the defense for four quarters to hold them to 95 is what we want to do. We had some very good stretches, I think we got up 25, 27 [points],” said Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “The one stretch in the third quarter is kind of frustrating to finish the third quarter, but other than that, a lot of good stuff tonight.”

Having scored 30 plus points in the past five games, forward Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the mark. However, he was one assist shy of a triple double with 19 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists. Milwaukee effectively found the open man as all starters shot in double digits. Center Brook Lopez would lead all scorers with 23 points, going 5 for 5 from long distance.

Brook Lopez goes 5 for 5 from beyond the arc. He would finish with a game high 23 points. Photo by Robert Beltran, EBC Florida Bureau, Eagle News Service.

On Lopez’s performance, Budenholzer stated “for him to go 5 for 5 from the three-point line, it just changes the game. Everyone knows he’s so capable of doing something like that, so [I’m] just happy for him. He works so hard and wants to be there for his teammates on both ends. You know it’s fun when he gets hot and starts making 3’s.”

“We have great trust in one another,” said Lopez. “We’re going to keep getting better each and every game. It’s great to see when the ball is moving and we’re sharing it. You know we’re just trying to find the open man and get the best shot possible.”

With the Bucks sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference, Budenholzer acknowledged the hard work that his team has put forth.

“We’ve got a great group. The defense is where we want it and in a good place. I think we’re getting better offensively. We’ve been together for a season and a half now; continuity is in a good place. We’ve got lots to work on and improve, but I feel great about the group.”


Center Brook Lopez contests a shot from Nikola Vucevic. This would be the theme for the night as the Bucks held the Magic to 37.8% shooting from the field and 25% from three-point range. Photo by Robert Beltran, EBC Florida Bureau, Eagle News Service.

(Eagle News Service)