Bucks aim to bounce back from disastrous loss, host Grizzlies

The Milwaukee Bucks will look to avenge an upset loss from earlier this season when they face the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Milwaukee (47-28) came up short in the nation’s capital against the then-14-win Washington Wizards, falling 117-113.

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded a triple-double by collecting 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. Khris Middleton added 24 points, nine boards and six assists in the setback.

“It’s a disappointing loss. Not much more to say about it,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers said. “We didn’t get any stops all night, they crushed us in transition. I don’t know if we took them (lightly), I just think they outplayed us.”

Rivers didn’t stop there, though.

“We don’t bring the necessary professionalism, seriousness, on the road,” Rivers said. “That’s something that we can fix. That’s something that we’re going to have to fix.”

Memphis (25-50) is coming off a 110-108 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Jaren Jackson Jr. led the charge, scoring 40 points on 13-of-23 shooting. Luke Kennard added 19 points and a team-high eight assists.

“JJ was phenomenal tonight,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “I thought at halftime down 13, our mentality was if we were down by 20. Third quarter we came out and made a couple of adjustments.”

“Things started to go our way in the second half,” Jackson said. “We started moving the ball and Luke went crazy.”

Jackson Jr. leads the Grizzlies this season with 22.3 points and 1.6 blocks per game. Santi Aldama averages 5.8 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 30.8 points, 11.6 boards and 1.2 steals per night. Damian Lillard averages 7.1 assists while Brook Lopez leads down low, averaging 2.4 blocks.

On the injury front, Lillard has missed the past two games for Milwaukee due to personal reasons and a right groin strain. Patrick Beverley also sustained a right ankle sprain during Tuesday’s loss and did not return.

Memphis’ injury report is lengthy. Yuta Watanabe (personal reasons), John Konchar (heel), Williams (knee) and Desmond Bane (back) all have been ruled out Wednesday. Those players are in addition to Marcus Smart (finger), Derrick Rose (groin/back), Zaire Williams (hip) and Ja Morant (shoulder). All of that group have been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

The Grizzlies have won four consecutive matchups against Milwaukee. The Bucks have not swept the two-game season set since the 2017-18 season.

These teams last met in the final game before the All-Star break, with a very shorthanded Grizzlies squad posting a 113-110 win over Milwaukee.

Zaire Williams and GG Jackson each scored 27 points to lead Memphis while Vince Williams Jr. added 18 with 12 rebounds. Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 12 assists while Lillard had 24 points for the Bucks.

The Grizzlies will look to use their defense to cause problems for Milwaukee. They are fourth in the NBA in blocks (6.2) per game and fifth in steals (8.0).

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