Jabari Parker Bests Andrew Wiggins As Milwaukee Bucks Beat Minnesota


Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins will be forever linked by their draft position, having gone with the first two picks in June.

The rookies met for the first time in the preseason on Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Round 1 went to the Milwaukee Bucks’ No. 2 overall selection went for 21 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in 35 minutes as the Bucks topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-98 at U.S. Cellular Center.

Parker downplayed the significance of the matchup with Wiggins.

"“It was my first time playing Minnesota,” Parker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel."

Parker got off to a quick start for the Bucks (2-3), playing the entire first quarter and finishing with eight points and six rebounds as Milwaukee jumped out to a 32-22 lead.

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  • Jared Dudley added seven points in the quarter, canning both of his 3-point attempts in the period, and O.J. Mayo lit up the Iowa night with nine points in just five minutes in the opening period.

    The Bucks led 53-43 at the half, as Khris Middleton scored nine points in the second quarter.

    Minnesota (1-2) cut the deficit to four points late in the third quarter, but the Bucks ran off five quick points on a Mayo 3-ball and Michael Eric’s dunk to lead 79-72 at the end of the period.

    The Timberwolves twice got to within one point in the fourth quarter, first when Zach LaVine—who started at point guard in place of Ricky Rubio, who was rested—hit a runner in the lane to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 96-95 with 1:17 to go.

    Parker hit the second of two free throws to make it a 97-95 game and Chase Budinger returned the favor on the other end, missing the first of two free throws to cut the Milwaukee lead to 97-96.

    That’s when Parker did his thing, driving to the rack and throwing down a big dunk with 39.2 seconds left to put the Bucks up 99-96.

    "“I pretty much get a few plays directed to me,” Parker said. “It’s just a matter of converting them. It was a collective team effort. I just did what I had to do to try to win the game.”"

    Middleton blocked Budinger’s 3-point attempt at the other end and Giannis Antetokounmpo hit four free throws down the stretch, with Parker also sinking a pair, as the Bucks closed out the game strong.

    Antetokounmpo had 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in 31 minutes and Mayo also went for 19 points in 28 minutes.

    Coach Jason Kidd said he had no hesitation in calling a play for a rookie in crunch time.

    "“We all know that he’s athletic,” Kidd said. “We’ve gone to him a couple times down the stretch in preseason just to see how he reacts. He makes the right plays and no matter what he did in scoring the ball, he made the right play.”"

    Mayo was more impressed.

    "“Having (Parker) out there at the 4 position gave us an opportunity to use his quickness and agility once he got the ball in the lane,” Mayo said. “He made an all-pro, all-star move and a big-time finish.”"

    Middleton had 14 points and two blocks in 36 minutes and Dudley finished with 12 points in 20 minutes.

    Zaza Pachulia started at center and scored eight points in 13 minutes, going out in the second quarter with a hamstring strain. Kendall Marshall started at point guard and dished out six assists in 17 minutes, missing his only field goal attempt.

    Off the bench, besides Antetokounmpo and Mayo, Jerryd Bayless had a strong night with five points, six assists and three steals in 25 minutes, John Henson went for five points and seven boards in 24 minutes and Eric had two points in 11 minutes.

    Milwaukee dressed only 11 players; Nate Wolters did not play, while Ersan Ilyasova, Damien Inglis, Larry Sanders and Brandon Knight did not make the trip with injuries.

    Johnny O’Bryant is out for several weeks with a sprained knee.

    Parker finished 8-for-17 from the floor, missing his only 3-point attempt, and grabbed nine of his 11 rebounds on the defensive end.

    Wiggins played 27 minutes and scored 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Gorgui Dieng led the Timberwolves with 16 points, Budinger had 13, Anthony Bennett went for 12 points and 11 rebounds and Jose Barea and Thaddeus Young each scored 10 points. Barea also had seven assists, Budinger notched three steals and Dieng blocked two shots.

    Milwaukee shot 45.7 percent (37-for-81) for the game and hit 40 percent from behind the arc (8-for-20). Minnesota was 35-for-83 (42.2 percent) and 5-for-13 (38.5 percent).

    The Bucks visit New York on Monday night for a 6:30 p.m. Central matchup with the Knicks.