Mike Conley scored 12 points, and Marc Gasol added 11, as the Memphis Grizzlies took a 48-45 lead into the half against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Poor shooting got the Bucks in trouble early.
After Malcolm Brogdon opened the game with a hoop, the Grizzlies scored the next 10, a run started by Marc Gasol’s 3-pointer.
Other than Brogdon’s cutting layup, the Bucks attempted seven 3-pointers in their first eight shot attempts. That’s great when they’re connecting. In the first half on Wednesday, they were not. In the first 24 minutes Wednesday, the Bucks made just 4 of 23 behind the arc.
The Grizzlies led, 29-19, after a quarter and pushed it to 36-23 on Mike Conley’s 3-pointer with 9:29 left in the half.
With the 3-point attack of little help, the Bucks caught a break twice when Khris Middleton went to the line twice after being fouled on 3-pointers. He made all six free throws as part of a 22-8 run that pushed the Bucks to a 45-44 lead, their first since 2-0.
A driving layup by Middleton tied it at 44, and he gave the Bucks the lead seconds later when Memphis guard Mike Conley was whistled for a technical foul, complaining about a no-call on the previous Grizzlies possession.
Layups by Wayne Selden and Garrett Temple in the closing 1:35 put the Grizzlies back on top, 48-45, at the half.
At 14 for 41 (34.1%) from the field, and 4 for 23 on threes, the Bucks were fortunate to be that close. Memphis wasn’t a whole lot better at 19 for 44 (43.2%) and 4 for 17 behind the arc.
Middleton lead the Bucks with 14 points, including 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 12.