6th Fan Blogger: Bucks vs Lakers, March 28, 2013
Bucks 113, Lakers 103
Tonight the Milwaukee Bucks (34-36) welcome the Los Angeles Lakers (37-35) to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for a game to decide who gets the distinguished honor of best pre-emptive eight seed! The Lakers are fresh off a victory over the T-Wolves – their first victory in the past four games – and yet have still managed to capture the fascination of the mainstream audience under the guidance of Mike D’Antoni and his throwback mustache. Lucky for Milwaukee fans, LA travels into town at less than full-strength, the doctor’s wouldn’t give Metta World Peace a chance, and can hopefully provide an opportunity for Milwaukee to break their own four game skid or perhaps more importantly, another notch on the belt that will let the team take the seventh seed away from Boston. Whatever the case, let’s get this game started: Milwaukee, Los Angeles…Right Now!
If the start 0f this game was an indication of how the game would flow, Milwaukee was going to get its chances at a win. The focus of the quarter appeared to be on ball movement as both teams made an emphasis of finding the open man. Both teams traded quick dishes that lead to open shots, at least until Larry Sanders and Marquis Daniels threw down the seldom seen Double Dunk. Unlike the variety that often accompanies McNuggets, this kind is highly encouraged, however I should also warn that Bar-B-Q sauce is not provided. This was followed by a few subs here, a few Kobe free throws there and the quarter came to a quick end Bucks 18 Lakers 25.
Milwaukee needed to figure a way to swing the seven point deficit or they ran the risk of another game that will showcase a west-coast bias. And through the first half that risk was very real. For whatever reason Milwaukee could not establish an offensive flow, nor could they figure a way to prevent Dwight from rebounding, Kobe from hitting Fade-away J’s, or Gasol from growing a wicked Euro Beard. At least that was until the end of the quarter when Milwaukee was able to pull within four via some hard-nosed defense. L.A. was still the top dog in score, but momentum had shifted Milwaukee’s way. Even a technical foul by Jennings could not give the Lakers enough of the life they needed to pull again pull away. At the end of two we were back in the thick of it, Bucks 53 Lakers 56.
After the half, the game’s pace picked up quite a bit on both ends of the court. It was here that Milwaukee began to run its offense at an optimum efficiency to the point that they were finally able to take their first lead of the game. Jennings was dishing, Monta was slashing, and Larry was Dunking. Oh boy, was Larry Dunking. And that was the icing on the cake for the team as Milwaukee steamrolled their way to a lead heading into the final quarter, Bucks 82 Lakers 77.
And then here we were. The battle for the pre-emptive eight seed was coming down to the final quarter like any good playoff game should. Could Milwaukee’s “stifling d” hold off Kobe’s icy glare? Could Brandon Jennings find more ways to part the Steve Nash defense? Is Dwight Howard more of a Superboy than Superman if he cannot win a title with Kobe as Shaq did? I was eager to find out some of if not all the answers to my questions in the final twelve. And find out I did, or at least I learned one thing. Milwaukee was going to be hard-pressed to give up their new found lead. Even Marquis Daniels was stepping his game up to another level contributing an old-school three point play. In the end maybe it was shear will, maybe it was destiny, or more likely tonight the Bucks were just the better team. Behind Larry’s 21 points 13 rebounds Milwaukee won. Bucks 113 Lakers 103.