MILWAUKEE - It was a masterpiece for one half, anyway.
In a night that saw both team shorthanded, the Bucks without Giannis and the Nets down multiple players, Milwaukee came out firing, hitting 9 threes in the first quarter and scoring 64 points in the first half to take a 17 point lead at the half. It was up to 22 at one point as the Bucks looked to be coasting to another win at the Fiserv Forum.
But it was the deepest parts of the Brooklyn Nets bench that led a 2nd half charge led by Cam Thomas and Dru Smith to eventually cut the Bucks lead all the way to 2 with 4:17 to go, and again with 46 seconds to go, until the Bucks were able to finish Brooklyn off late with a tip-in basket and subsequent block by Brook Lopez to finally secure the win.
Brook Lopez set a career high in blocks with 9 to go along with 24 points and 10 rebounds, nearly giving him the unusual triple-double.
The Bucks were led by Bobby Portis who had 28 points and 13 rebounds, 11 of which came in a hot shooting first quarter. Veteran guard Patty Mills led the Nets with 23 points.
The Bucks are now 8-5 without Giannis this season, they head to the west coast to face the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.