Breakfast Special: Milwaukee’s Unstoppable Attack

Giannis Antetokounmpo shot 17-of-21, the Milwaukee Bucks scored 50 points in the first quarter, and the Bucks went on to beat the Washington Wizards 148-129.

In an NBA landscape where there have been a few too many lower-scoring games in recent weeks (thanks, Memphis and Indiana, who seem to be at the center of most of them), that 277-point combined outburst is the modern basketball we all know and love, a world where you can race out to nearly 150 points and still have to keep one eye on the scoreboard because your opponents might pop a few threes and make a game of it.

After all, the Wizards were 17-of-37 (45.9 percent) from three on the night.

The Bucks, meanwhile, besides that better-than-80-percent shooting night from Greekazoid—who ended up with 43 points—hit 19-of-30 (63.3 percent) from three and 56-of-93 (60.2 percent) overall.

Basketball is more fun when shots go in.

The Bucks scored 50 in the first quarter, a franchise-record 85 in the first half, another 35 in the third (when they led 120-107, just a 13-point advantage), and finally 28 as the game slowed down in the fourth.

Washington got the deadline special of a “DNP-Trade” for Otto Porter, who was listed on the active roster at game time but had been traded to Chicago ahead of the next update.

Of course Antetokounmpo is your man of the match:

Rodeo Cheeseburger

The San Antonio Spurs were always going to look a little inflated ahead of the infamous Rodeo Road Trip, as San Antonio is 22-7 at home and 10-17 on the road this season.

Plus, their antiquated offense was always going to be due for a major regression, and a combination of that and a complete defensive meltdown led to a 141-102 thrashing at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors scored 49 points in the third quarter…and had only the second highest-scoring quarter in the NBA last night. What a world.

The Warriors hit 57.9 percent of their shots, 16-of-34 from three, and were dominant in the secondary stats. Whether rebounds (52-30), assists (42-24), steals (14-6), or turnovers (18-11), Golden State just thrashed San Antonio at both ends of the floor.

Klay Thompson led the way with 26 points, Kevin Durant had 23, and Stephen Curry had 19 for the victorious Dubs.

And, since it was a blowout, nobody played more than 29 minutes, helpful for getting rest ahead of the playoff push.

Klay couldn’t miss. So he’s man of the match:

The Downfall of Harrison Barnes

How harsh is it to be traded while you are actually on the floor for your team playing basketball?

Such was the fate of Harrison Barnes, who got traded to Sacramento in the middle of a game, and because it’s Barnes, he played like trash, scoring just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

Nice job, Vlade Divac. You traded for one of only three guys (Carmelo Anthony and Andrew Wiggins are the other two) to play 2500 minutes with a negative VORP in 2017-18.

Oh, and the Mavs beat the Charlotte Hornets 99-93 at home, riding a terrible triple-double (19 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds, but he shot 5-of-20 from the field) from Luka Doncic, not even playing that well, but against the Charlotte Dumpster Fires you don’t have to play well.

To wit, the Hornets shot 40.4 percent from the field and 9-of-37 (24.3 percent) from three.

Speaking of terrible shooters, Tim Hardaway Jr., whom the Mavs generously took off the Knicks’ cap sheet in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, was 5-of-16 for 12 points off the bench. Ride the vomit comet…

Doncic is the first teenager in NBA history to have three triple-doubles before his 20th birthday, so that makes him man of the match:

Lightning Round!

The Denver Nuggets were DOA in Brooklyn, falling behind by as many as 23 points before rallying big-time in the fourth quarter to close the gap and…make the score respectable. They still lost 135-130.

D’Angelo Russell had 27 on 10-of-23 shooting for Brooklyn to lead the scoring burst that put Denver on ice and beyond the reach of a late charge, DeMarre Carroll had a double-double off the bench with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Brooklyn got a Total Team Effort with seven guys in double figures.

Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic had a triple-double with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists, but if you want highlights, you gotta win the game.

So Russell’s the man of the match:

Anthony Davis may be missing in action, and he may have been Butler’d into never playing another game for his team before he got traded, but the Pelicans had Julius Randle at his best and the woeful Bulls as an opponent, and that will buy you a 125-120 win in Chicago.

Randle had 31 points off the bench, Jrue Holiday and Cheick Diallo each had 18 points, and New Orleans shot 52.9 percent as a team to get the job done.

Randle, of course, is the man of the match:

Utah smoked the Suns like a barbecue brisket 116-88, as the Suns got 27 from Josh Jackson, 20 from Deandre Ayton, and not a whole lot else. Phoenix coughed the ball up 22 times, and it’s hard to get a shot up when you don’t have the ball.

It was a Total Team Effort from Utah, with all five starters plus Royce O’Neale (15 points, a wonderful plus-31 in his 27 minutes) and Jae Crowder (11 points) providing scoring spark off the bench.

Donovan Mitchell had 21 points to lead all scorers on the victors, doing it in true Spida fashion by hitting 8-of-21 from the field. He’s had plenty of those kind of shooting nights, with as many or more FGA as points, so far in his career.

A team effort deserves team highlights:

And finally, James Harden scored 36 points, hit 8-of-13 three-pointers, and made “and finally” status in a morning highlight column.

When you score 30 on 28 straight occasions, what do you want, the top headline? Yeah, I don’t have that many puns, I need to ration ’em out.

Gerald Green had 25 off the bench, Eric Gordon added 20 as Harden’s sidekick, Chris Paul had 15 points and 11 assists, and the Rockets smoked Sacramento 127-101.

Love the salt from Houston on the highlight reel:

Is He Any Good is coming…later. I’m going to shoot for early afternoon Pacific today, but if not, then Friday morning it is. You guys know the score around here. Check every morning at breakfast and read what you missed, then you’ll get everything.

Thanks for reading! (and for being patient with the schedule slip as things get crazy here at the Mystery Ship Studios HQ in Seattle ahead of a big planned spring.)