May 20, 2024

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Milwaukee Bucks rout Orlando Magic sans injured Giannis Antetokounmpo

4 min read
DEEP SQUAD. The Milwaukee Bucks displayed their depth having defeated the Orlando Magic, 117-99, without injured star player Giannis Antetokounmpo on Wednesday night (Thursday, April 11, in the Philippines). MILWAUKEE BUCKS PHOTO

In a game marked by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence due to a calf injury, the Milwaukee Bucks relied on Bobby Portis’s standout performance to secure a decisive 117-99 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Portis was sensational, finishing with 30 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high five steals, leading the charge for the Bucks in Antetokounmpo’s absence. The Bucks played without their two stars as Khris Middleton also sat out to manage his workload following a sprained ankle earlier in the season.

Milwaukee’s depth shone through as Damian Lillard contributed 29 points and nine assists, while Jae Crowder and Pat Beverley made significant impacts off the bench with 14 points and 13 points respectively.

Lillard highlighted the Bucks’ depth, acknowledging Giannis as a key leader for the team. While Giannis’s presence elevates their performance, Lillard emphasized the overall talent and contributions of the entire roster, underscoring their collective strength and versatility.

The Bucks improved to 4-3 in games Antetokounmpo has missed this season, demonstrating their ability to adapt and succeed under challenging circumstances.

Milwaukee (49-31) remains in contention for the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 playoff seed, currently holding a 1 1/2 game lead over the New York Knicks and a two-game advantage over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On the other side, the Orlando Magic (46-34) are fighting for playoff positioning, seeking to secure one of the top six seeds in the Eastern Conference to avoid a play-in scenario. Cole Anthony led the Magic with 23 points, acknowledging the intense playoff-like atmosphere of the game.

Anthony anticipated that upcoming games would mirror the intensity of the matchup against the Bucks, describing the atmosphere as reminiscent of a playoff game.

Paolo Banchero added 20 points and Jalen Suggs chipped in 18 for Orlando, who are determined to clinch their first playoff berth since 2020.

Despite a strong start with a 5-0 lead, the Magic were unable to sustain their momentum as Milwaukee’s relentless defense and opportunistic scoring led by Portis proved too much to handle. The Bucks capitalized on turnovers and executed efficiently on both ends of the court.

Anthony acknowledged that the Bucks effectively capitalized on every mistake made by the Magic, highlighting Milwaukee’s ability to convert turnovers into scoring opportunities.

The Bucks now turn their attention to managing their roster ahead of the playoffs, with guard A.J. Green exiting the game early due to a sprained ankle. As Milwaukee looks to maintain momentum heading into the postseason, their depth and resilience will be crucial factors in navigating the challenges ahead without their key stars.

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