Pelicans Can’t Knock Off First Place Bucks

The New Orleans Pelicans hosted the Milwaukee Bucks at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Tuesday night. The Pelicans, who currently sit at 12th place in the Western Conference, have had a rough couple of months. Pelicans’ superstar Anthony Davis requested a trade on January 28th and the Pels entered the game with the Bucks on a three-game losing streak.

Despite getting no points from Anthony Davis in the first quarter, the Pels and Bucks ended the quarter tied at 23. By halftime, the Bucks had built a 56-48 lead but the Pelicans were still in striking distance.

The third quarter is where the Bucks pulled away. The Bucks scored 45 to the Pelicans’ 41 to build a 101-89 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

New Orleans cut the lead to as little as seven in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get any closer. The Bucks finished the Pels off by a final score of 130-113 to improve to 51-17. New Orleans fell to 30-40 on the year.

Leading the way for Milwaukee were the duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton who scored 24 and 23 points, respectively. All of Milwaukee’s starters scored in double-figures, but one of their most important contributors may have been Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic, who came off of the bench in his first return to New Orleans since being traded to Milwaukee in February, scored 14 points for the Bucks.

After the game, Antetokounmpo commented on his team’s play in the third quarter, “We started playing together… getting good looks… getting in our spots. We were just playing fast. We were just being us. I think in the slow start we were throwing the ball all over, and getting charges. I think when we came out of the half we were more focused, we knew what we wanted. We were able to know down some shots and get some easy looks.”

WHAT’S NEXT?:

  • New Orleans (30-40) is now 9.5 games out of the playoff picture and will host Portland on Friday.
  • Milwaukee (51-17) is now 3 games ahead of Toronto for first place in the Eastern Conference and will travel to Miami to take on the Heat on Friday.

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