Inside a fan-less Fiserv Forum on Friday, the Milwaukee Bucks beat Golden State Warriors 138-99 in their home opener — the second-largest margin of victory ever on Christmas Day.
And although superstar Cheap Giannis Antetokounmpo Jersey struggled offensively, finishing 4-for-14 with 15 points, he has already noticed a big change in the new-look roster only two games into the 2020-21 season.
“The Milwaukee Bucks this year, we’re good … we’re better,” Antetokounmpo said after the win. “We have some great guys that we added to the team. They’re playing the right way, and once everything fits in together, we’re going to be good. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
All-Star wing Cheap Khris Middleton Jersey shouldered the load with a game-high 31 points in 26 minutes, including six 3-pointers.
Middleton, who shined on both sides, joined Cheap Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jersey as the only Bucks players with multiple 30-point games on Christmas Day in franchise history, per ESPN Stats & Information research.
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Defensively, Middleton held the Warriors to 10 points as a primary defender. Offensively, seven of Middleton’s makes were contested field goals, while he allowed only one of 12 open looks by Warriors shooters.
After last season’s disappointing finish, when Milwaukee lost to the Miami Heat in five games during the Eastern Conference semifinals, Middleton vowed to return as a better player, which has been evident with 58 points through the first two games.
Milwaukee is now 1-1.
“That’s what it’s all about. In some ways you want to drive yourself crazy by telling yourself there’s always something you can be better at and try to be perfect even though you never can be,” Middleton said. “But I think that’s what it’s all about, just trying to find ways to be better just as a complete basketball player, not just as a scorer or a shooter.”
Milwaukee also had 20 3-point field goals in a game for the fifth time in franchise history, with all five instances coming under coach Mike Budenholzer.
After a 66-56 halftime lead, Milwaukee pulled away in the second half, outscoring Golden State 72-43 and holding the Warriors to 34% shooting.
The Warriors also missed 35 3-pointers, the second most in a game in franchise history.
“I think there were a lot of good things on both ends of the court. So, credit to our players and it just kind of came together for us,” Budenholzer said. “It’s a pretty difficult start for Golden State to be on the road after a pretty short preseason to go to Brooklyn then come here.
“Some days everything just comes together for you, and it was a good effort for us.”