In a Tuesday night matchup, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Washington Wizards 151-131 with Khris Middleton scoring a career-high 51 points and Bradley Beal scoring 47 points.
The 151 points allowed by the Wizards is the fourth time they have given up at least 150 points in a game this season, the most in the NBA. The Wizards are currently 15-31 this season, but only four-and-a-half games out of the eighth seed (they’re not making the playoffs).
The Bucks are 41-6, a full eight games ahead of the second seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re also first in defense and second in offense this season. In the three-point era, there have been three teams to be top two in both offense and defense: the 1996-1997 Chicago Bulls, the 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors, and the 2016-2017 Warriors. All three won the championship that season.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo out for the game, Middleton scored a career-high 51 points. His All-Star case is going stronger and stronger. How much stronger? Only five players have averaged 20 points per game with shooting splits of 50-40-90: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Dirk Nowitzki, and now Middleton this season.
No matter the team he is on, Middleton is an All-Star.
Same goes for Beal, who is averaging 28.6 points and 6.3 assists per game this season. Trae Young for the Atlanta Hawks was named a starter in the All-Star Game, so clearly team record doesn’t matter for the selections.
In the game, Eric Bledsoe scored 34 points and 10 assists, while both Donte DiVincenzo (16 points) and Robin Lopez (10 points) scored in double figures.
With clear home-court advantage in the playoffs, the Bucks are finally reaching full form. The only obstacle will be the Philadelphia 76ers, whose size can stop Giannis at the rim.