The Milwaukee Bucks started slow, but finished in a hurry, outscoring the Charlotte Hornets 38-25 in the fourth quarter to claim win number 40 on the season.
The Bucks are a juggernaut, and now sit 8.0 games clear from the second-placed Miami Heat, and show no signs of slowing down as they remain on pace for a staggering 70 regular season wins.
Giannis puts on a show in Paris
The reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo pieced together another dominant performance in France, finishing with 30 points, 16 rebounds and six assists in just 32 minutes.
Antetokounmpo finished 13-for-19 from the field on the night, though curiously only attempted one 3-point shot on the night and only had seven attempts at the charity stripe.
The Mean Mug has made it to Paris. #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/TZ9v8nFfJa- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 24, 2020
The efficient night was capped off by a textbook Dirk Nowitzki fadeawy in the post, which is fast becoming a scary addition to the bulging offensive aresenal he has at his disposal.
While the sample size is certainly small, Antetokounmpo is now 13-for-23 (56.5 percent) on the season on turnaround fadeaway jump shots.
Antetokounmpo has flirted with adding this shot to his toolbag over the years, but it is finally starting to look like a genuine weapon.
Giannis is still dunking on everyone like previous years, that hasn't changed, but he his offence has quickly become diversified, and that may be the biggest key to the Bucks' championship hopes come June.
Budenholzer picks up win No. 100 with dominant Bucks
Mike Budenholzer has coached the Bucks in 128 regular-season games since being hired by the Milwaukee prior to the 2018-19 season.
He now has a ridiculous 100-28 record in that stretch, as the the Bucks continue to suffocate their opposition.
The Bucks 13-point win was the 25th double-digit win of the season for the Bucks, on a night where they didn't take the lead until the fourth quarter.
💯 pic.twitter.com/EBKJDjynRP- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 24, 2020
Milwaukee holds the league's best defence with a defensive rating of 101.2 which sits 2.9 points ahead of the second place Toronto Raptors.
While the focus is often on the brute force of Antetokounmpo, the sweet shooting Khris Middleton and Milwaukee's incredible depth offensively, it's on the defensive end where they are suffocating teams into submission.
Milwaukee held the Hornets to a measerly 32 points in the paint in this one, significantly lower than their league-best 38.1 they average against per game.
In Antetokounmpo and Lopez, the Bucks possess the league's most dominant defensive duo, and they continue to slam the door shut on the game's most efficent scoring zone.
In this one, the Bucks struggled to shoot just 27 percent from three while committing 15 turnovers, but it mattered little, as their defence kept the game close until the dam wall broke offensively and Milwaukee inititiated their game winning burst.
This version of the Bucks can often times get away with playing one crisp quarter of basketball to win by double-digits. In that sense, they very much remind you of peak regular-season Golden State.
Now that's a scary thought.
Donte doing things
Donte DiVincenzo's impressive second season in the NBA continued across international waters, with the former 17th overall pick continuing his rise as a genuine difference maker on the team with the league's best record.
DiVincenzo is a blur defensively, continuously having his hand in passing lanes, creating deflections, grabbing steals and swatting shots.
Those defensive stands oftentimes allows the Bucks to launch their deadly transition offence to get out and run, with two amazing examples of this coming against the Hornets.
In the first instance, DiVincenzo raced back on defence to soar for an acrobatic block on Terry Rozier, which ultimately ended with an Antetokounmpo dunk on the other end.
WHAT A SEQUENCE 😱#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/ZRDWD7hCyz- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 24, 2020
Then, just minutes later, he cut off a Malik Monk pass to the left corner, picking the ball at full speed before executing a pin point behind the back pass to Kyle Korver and he flew into the first row.
This sequence from the Bucks 😲 pic.twitter.com/n9ww4KlxKK- NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 24, 2020
To top it all off, he then delivered the dagger to the Hornets, buring a triple with 1:08 left in the game, giving the Bucks a 113-102 lead.
DiVincenzo finished with eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, on another night where the box score hardly tells the full story.
The man they call 'The Big Ragu' brings genuine x-factor the this Bucks squad, and we know from his performance in the National Championship game with Villanova, he's not afraid of the big moments.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.