MILWAUKEE – Looking at both teams before the season, one would figure that the squad from Milwaukee would finish with more wins when they’d faced the team from Chicago.
The Bucks are a team in the midst of the window for a title while the Bulls are just trying to crack open theirs anyway they can. If Jim Boylen’s team was able to pull out one victory against them in the 2019-2020 season, it would be considered an accomplishment.
Yet what made Milwaukee’s sweep of the Bulls in the season series unique this year was just how similar all the games ended up being. As with the previous three match-ups against the Bucks, the visitors managed to keep pace with the Eastern Conference front-runners for a half on Monday afternoon, then suffered through one bad second half quarter as the game got away.
It led to a 111-98 loss for the Bulls at the Fiserv Forum as the hosts brought out the brooms and sent their opponents 16-29 on the season and 1-18 against squads with a winning record.
The Bulls were right there with the Bucks through the first half, using nine three-pointers to stay within a point at the break. Then came a bad third quarter where the Bulls fell behind by as many as 14 points and lost the lead for good, as Milwaukee’s stars turned it up and the three-pointers failed to fall.
The Bulls tied a franchise-record with 48-three point attempts but only 14 of them went in, which helped the Bucks take the lead in the third quarter and never let it go.
That was a trend against Milwaukee in the previous three games, with Bucks outscoring the Bulls 32-20 in the third on November 14th to pull away for a 124-115 victory. Four days later in Chicago, the Bulls were held to just two points in the final 6:23 as Milwaukee won it 115-101 by outscoring the hosts 31-20 in the fourth quarter.
On December 30th at the United Center, the Bucks outscored the Bulls by 15 in the third as the ran away with a 123-102 victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the charge with a triple-double, scoring 28 points while collecting 14 rebounds and ten assists, while Kris Middleton chipped in 24 points of his own as the Bucks shot 57.7 percent from the floor. Like usual, the Bulls were led by Zach LaVine, who reached the 20-point mark for the 11th-straight game, finishing with 24. Lauri Markkanen, who had eight points in a decent first half, was shutout in the second half as he made just 2-of-11 shots from the field and missed all seven three-point attempts.
Luckily he nor the Bulls have to face the Bucks again this year, unless Boylen’s team sneaks into the playoffs as an eighth seed. Should they do so, it could be a second four-game sweep for the Milwaukee team over Chicago in the 2019-2020 campaign.