Reaching back to think about the most memorable games of the season has never been such an adventure. This season went on for almost a full calendar year. Dichotomously it still did not feel long enough.
Here are the archives of most memorable:
And here is the latest edition:
10. Bucks 121 Magic 107— August 22, 2020 — HP Field House
- The Bubble was weird for every team, perhaps weirdest for the Bucks. They had all but wrapped up home court advantage throughout the playoffs, and then waited almost five months in order to play a couple weeks worth of play-in games before the playoffs, games that functioned really only as warm-ups for them, games that would lead in to a playoffs without any home court advantage for anyone.
- After dropping Game 1, the Bucks got back on track with a Game 2 win, and then here, in Game 3, left no questions about where the series was going.
- The defense got back on track and flustered a heretofore jazzy Nikola Vucevic, Giannis was his dominant self (10–10 at the rim), and things were right for a night.
9. Bucks 151 Wizards 131 — January 28, 2020 — Fiserv Forum
- No Giannis in this one, which meant…
- 51 points for Middleton, and 34 for Bledsoe, and 47 for Beal, and 88 for the Bucks by halftime. Yes: 88.
- This was their 9th win in a row, in what would become 14 out of 15, which was a completely different run than when they won 18 in a row. Which is to say, the Bucks were really rolling, for quite a while, a while ago.
8. Bucks 132 Knicks 88 — December 2, 2019 — Fiserv Forum
- Giannis breezed to 29 and 15 in just 21 minutes in yet another blowout win over the Knicks.
- But on this night, everyone got in on the fun. Really. All 13 Bucks players played 12+ minutes in this one. That included D.J. Wilson (19 and 5 on 8–9 shooting), Thanasis (10 points and 3 assists on 4–6 shooting), and Dragan (made his only shot, a three of course).
- Oh and this was their 12th win in a row, out of what would became 18 in a row.
7. Bucks 115 Raptors 105 — November 2, 2019 — Fiserv Forum
- In his first game against the Raptors since the Bucks fell to them in the playoffs the year before, Giannis played like someone who was, well, facing a team for the first time since losing to them in the playoffs.
- Giannis put up 36/16/8 along with four blocks, dominating the game from beginning to end in every facet.
- The Bucks flew to a 51–25 lead halfway through the second quarter and that was that. They never trailed for a moment in this game.
6. Bucks 117 Rockets 111— October 24, 2019 — Toyota Center
- Coming off his first MVP, Giannis faced runner-up James Harden on opening night and went for 30/13/11 in just 28 minutes, while Harden shot 2–13 from the field.
- Enjoyably, Giannis also had one rather memorable block, a chasedown swat of Harden, back when the Rockets were up 15. Speaking of that…
- The Bucks came back from a big deficit. Down 71–56, Giannis blocked Harden, and then the Bucks outscored the Rockets 61–40 the rest of the way. Nice.
5. Bucks 112 Sixers 101 — February 6, 2020 — Fiserv Forum
- The preseason conference favorites split the first two games of the regular season series, and while the Bucks came into the night 13 games ahead in the standings, there were still some (ahem) who thought the Sixers posed a potential challenge to the Bucks, when hitting on all cylinders anyway.
- And here, the Sixers actually won the first quarter, Ben Simmons (11/14/9) had moments on both sides of the ball, old friend Tobias Harris hit shots (5–6 on threes), and the Bucks had an off shooting night.
- However: Giannis has had some of the best games of his career against Joel Embiid. And this was another one, as he put up 36/20/6.
4. Bucks 118 Heat 115 — September 6, 2020 — The Arena
- In a trying series (down 3–0), in a trying season (the world pandemic that paused the season for nearly five months, for one thing), in a trying game (what I am about to get into), the Bucks improbably came back and won sans Giannis, after the MVP left the game with an ankle injury after a dominant start (19 points in 11 minutes).
- Middleton scored 21 points in the third quarter, and then outscored the entire Heat team (9–8) in overtime for good measure.
- And with that he carried the Bucks to a Game 4 win that was at once massively disappointing (Giannis injury) and inspiring (winning after Giannis injury).
3. Bucks 133 Thunder 86 — February 28, 2020 — Fiserv Forum
- The hallmark of the Bucks over the past couple years has been to rack up blowout wins against quality opponents, games where they coast (while still at high octane) through whole second halves. In 2018–19, the one that stood out to me was a 143–100 trouncing of the full-strength Blazers, the number three game on my most memorable of that season.
- This game was this season’s version of that Blazers game for me, just an absolute masterclass against a smart, tough, talented opponent. The Thunder came in on a five-game winning streak led by a smoothest backcourt of Chris Paul and Shia Gilgious-Alexander, and immediately, none of it mattered.
- Giannis went for 32/13/6 in just 27 minutes, racking up a +44 differential.
2. Bucks 119 Clippers 91— December 6, 2019 — Fiserv Forum
- The Bucks had already won the first matchup of the season in Los Angeles, but both Kawhi and Paul George were out for that game.
- Kawhi and George were back for this one, but the Bucks jumped to a 30–15 first quarter and never looked back, and the two Clippers stars shot a combined 10–26.
- This was a start-to-finish thrashing of a title favorite that was at full strength. So in control were the Bucks that Giannis led the team with a mere 26 minutes. Of course he made them count, with 27/11/4. The starters and bench were equally punishing, with Connaughton’s 5–5 shooting night leading the way for the reserves.
1. Bucks 111 Lakers 104— December 19, 2019 — Fiserv Forum
- Few things top a holiday season clash between star-filled title favorites. To say that the atmosphere was festive would be at once cliché and incredibly accurate.
- To make things a bit sweeter yet, both teams entered the game with league-best 24–4 records, and with three MVP candidates among them. And the Bucks were coming off an 18-game winning streak that was snapped just a few nights prior.
- The game did not disappoint. An electric 42–29 second quarter carried the Bucks into halftime with a 19-point lead, but Anthony Davis (28 second-half points) and LeBron (triple-double for the game) brought the Lakers back in the third quarter, setting up a tense — well, for fans, not the players, seemingly — final period in which all three MVP candidates played like MVP candidates.