The Milwaukee Bucks, perhaps contrary to the expectations in the Large Round Building tonight, did not exhibit any of that Deer-in-the-headlights meandering one might expect of a team with 47 losses. In fact, they led by three at the half and put together a 9-0 run near the end of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 96; Scott Brooks, having vowed to play the starters around 20 minutes or so, wasn’t about to put them back in with 23 seconds left, and we had a wholly-unanticipated overtime. The Bucks, despite not being used to scoring this much, did not falter, and they won it 110-106, to the bewilderment of the crowd, locking the Thunder into the #4 seed and setting up the first round of the playoffs against fifth-place Denver.
This was a game where nobody scored a lot, but a lot of people scored: Milwaukee had eight players in double figures, OKC six. (Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 20.) Only one double-double: Nazr Mohammed, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Thunder were awash in rebounds, collecting 52 while the Bucks could grab only 34. But the Thunder also turned the ball over two dozen times, and Milwaukee was happy to capitalize on those mistakes to the tune of 27 points.
It may not have mattered: the only way the Thunder were going to move up in the seeding would have been if the Mavericks lost to New Orleans, which they didn’t. And there were stats to accumulate: Kevin Durant won the scoring title, and nobody blocked more shots this year than Serge Ibaka. But this is a hell of a way to go into the first round of the post-season.