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Clippers Give It Their All and Then Some, Still Fall To the Bucks 129-124

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The Clippers fought all game and never let up. Ultimately lack of star power, lack of consistent shooting and the reigning MVP doomed them.

Milwaukee Bucks v LA Clippers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

Lou Williams: 34 points, 11 assists, 6 turnovers

Montrezl Harrell: 34 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists

Patrick Beverley: 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3-for-4 from three

Ivica Zubac: 8 points, 4 rebounds 3-for-4 from field

JaMychal Green: 9 points, 7 rebounds

Game Summary

To dive into a quarter by quarter recap: In the first frame, the Clips went down big early only to have Trez do Trez things and later on JaMychal Green hit some threes to narrow the gap. The Clips were able to string together some stops, using a nifty man-zone-esque type defense (even pressing a bit) that stifled the usability of Giannis inside and forced the Bucks outside. While the Bucks were making some of them, they were a bit flustered and LA took advantage. They started hitting some of their shots and Zubac had a quick six points, along with some good interior defense, to get the lead after one 30-28.

The second quarter sucked, simple and plain. That’s two straight Kawhi “load management” games where a big quarter deficit doomed LA. After having a small lead, the Clips found themselves down 16 at one point in the second and down 11 at half. That’s after Lou and Trez found some rhythm late and actually cut the lead to seven at one point. I don’t know what it is about the Clippers perimeter defense but the Bucks had 12 damn threes in the first half, which is a joke. The Clips continue to let teams shoot, and hit, wide open threes and it’s frustrating to watch. This will be sured up when PG is back on the roster but for now, is annoying. The Bucks finished the half on back-to-back George Hill threes then the Clips allowed Kyle Korver to get a wide open three at the very end to go down 12. Yuck.

The third saw the Clippers come to life. Thank god. This game could have gotten super ugly if not. Trez and Lou showed their amazing chemistry, as they combined for 24 points in the frame. Beverley was killing it on both ends, showing no hesitation in driving to the hoop or shooting. The kind of confidence we need to see from him on that end nightly. The offense was humming, the defense was tightening up, the Bucks were missing. And then…Giannis hit two threes, got to the line a bunch (had 12 FT attempts before the fourth) and a close game turned into a 10-0 run by the Bucks leading to a nine point deficit for LA heading into the fourth. Good quarter, bad finish.

The Clippers still had a sliver of momentum going into the fourth. The first few minutes were a bit stagnant but the Clips were hanging tough. Beverley continued to shine, Lou was getting to the line and the rack and the Bucks were missing a bit. That quickly ended once Korver hit a three, Giannis kept getting to the rack and the Clips went cold. Giannis had four threes all season before this game. Tonight he hit four. While LA’s defensive gameplan was to let him shoot the deep ball, still sucks. A trio of Shamet threes (finally!!!) cut the Bucks lead from 13 eventually down to 4 quick with a little over two minutes remaining to give the Clips some light. The Bucks continued to score inside — Bledsoe layup, George Hill outback (so random) etc. — but the Clippers continued to have answers. Lou hit a clutch three to get the game back to four but the Bucks continued to get to the line and get easy shots on the other end. After a JaMychal two, a 1-2 from the line from Giannis, Landry fired a desperation three that banked in to get the game to two. The Clips were forced to foul Middleton, a great foul shooter, who sunk both. After a Giannis block on a Green shot, the game was finished. A game to be proud of if you are a Clipper player and fan

Notes

Sham has a weird game: Mostly invisible for the entirety of the game, Shamet randomly hit four straight threes in the fourth to keep the Clippers in the game. I mean, what? Shamet has been extremely streaky to start the season and lets hope he has more consistency moving forward.

Finally, Bev: Beverley had one of his best games as a Clipper, scoring 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds. He fought defensively all game, including assignments on both Freak and Middleton. Showing this type of confidence on the offensive end all season is imperative for Bev and the Clips.