Road Reaction: Pelicans 85, Bucks 84
Despite falling behind 15-0 to start the game, the Milwaukee Bucks fought back and hung around all night. But for the second time in three games, Milwaukee couldn’t convert a game-winning shot attempt at the buzzer.
Ersan Ilyasova’s open 3-point try went around and out, sending the Bucks to an 85-84 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday at Smoothie King Center.
Milwaukee has now lost nine consecutive road games and three straight overall. The Bucks are just 4-10 since the All-Star Break, as their grasp on the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference is down to 3 1/2 games over Indiana, Boston and Miami.
1 big moment: The Bucks almost fumbled away a chance at a final shot attempt, as Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t handle a handoff pass from Jerryd Bayless near the left elbow. Sensing Bayless was in trouble, Khris Middleton called timeout before the pass was mishandled, which gave Milwaukee life with 2.5 seconds left.
A screen by Zaza Pachulia freed Ilyasova for the attempt at a game winner, but the ball rattled around the rim and fell out at the buzzer.
2 top performers: While it was a far cry from the career-high 43 points he dropped on the Bucks on March 9, Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 20 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Davis hit what turned out to be the game-winning shot, a 15-foot jumper with 1:07 left.
After missing three games with an ankle injury, Bayless returned to score 14 points with eight rebounds and five assists. The veteran guard kept the Bucks in the game with eight points in the fourth quarter, connecting on all six of his free-throw attempts in the final period.
3 key stats: New Orleans won despite shooting 34.9 percent from the field, its lowest field-goal percentage in a win this season. The Pelicans’ last win when scoring 85 points or fewer came in April 2012.
The Pelicans entered second in the NBA in points in the paint at 46.1 per game, but the Bucks finished with a 40-28 advantage in the paint Wednesday.
Milwaukee’s backcourt of Michael Carter-Williams and Middleton combined to shoot 4 of 26 from the field. After a hot start to March, Middleton shot 14 of 50 (28.0 percent) from the field and 4 of 13 (30.8 percent) from 3-point distance on the three-game road trip. The Bucks are 13 of their last 53 from beyond the arc.
Said: "We got the stop down one. Bayless lost the ball, but Khris made the heads up play to call timeout. We drew up a play to get Ers a shot. Z set a great screen. The ball just went in and out. We got the look we wanted." â Bucks coach Jason Kidd
Seen: Carter-Williams and Bayless returned Tuesday, but the Bucks still were without O.J. Mayo (hamstring) and Jared Dudley (back). Mayo and Dudley returned to Milwaukee for treatment following Saturday night’s loss to Memphis.
Next: Milwaukee returns home to face the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks will play six of their next seven games at home, as a five-game homestand follows a road game in Brooklyn on Friday.
San Antonio had won eight of its last nine until it fell in overtime to the lowly New York Knicks on Wednesday.
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