Desperate for a spark, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer called on Thon Maker with 2:30 left in the third. The third-year center contributed a blocked shot right away, and the Bucks closed the third quarter with a 13-2 run to pull within 84-80,
The Grizzlies made the Buck offense uncomfortable throughout the first 36 minutes.
Just 4 for 23 behind the arc at the half, the Bucks missed three more triples in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter. Every time a Bucks player got the ball outside the arc, a Grizzlies player was right there in his face.
The Bucks managed to make their 2-pointers in the period, but the Grizzlies shot a whopping 80% (12 for 15) in the first 19 minutes of the third. Two 3-pointers by Shelvin Mack and another by Jaren Jackson Jr. gave the Grizzlies an 82-67 lead with 2:30 left in the third.
Pat Connoughton hit two 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes of the period — the first one after Maker’s block — and the Bucks closed within 84-80 heading into the fourth.