The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t reached the end of their time at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Home games will continue as long as the team stays alive in the playoffs.
But the Bucks will play their final regular-season game in the building against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. Monday.
There have been plenty of memories made at the Bradley Center since the Bucks took the court for their first regular-season game there Nov. 5, 1988, against the Atlanta Hawks.
Here are 10 memorable games:
Dec. 11, 1988: The game was good, with the Bucks earning a 95-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on a 16-foot jumper by Jay Humphries. But most of the sellout crowd of 18,633 fans at the Bradley Center came to say goodbye to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the former Bucks center who was playing his final NBA season with the Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar sat out the game with a knee injury, so he never played in a game at the Bradley Center. But he did get a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a ceremony before the game.
May 2, 1989: The first season at the Bradley Center also featured maybe the finest Bucks playoff performance in the building. Ricky Pierce shot 13 of 17 and scored 35 points as the Bucks earned a 117-113 victory in overtime against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of the first-round series. The crowd of 18,469 fans was so loud that Bucks coach Del Harris couldn’t be heard in team huddles. The atmosphere hit a fever pitch when Fred Roberts scored the winning layup in the waning seconds. Milwaukee would lose Game 4 at the Bradley Center, 113-106 in overtime, but the Bucks went on to eliminate the Hawks with a 96-92 victory in Atlanta in Game 5.
Nov. 9, 1989: The Bucks’ 155-154 victory in five overtimes over the Seattle SuperSonics featured some mind-boggling numbers. The game lasted 4 hours 17 minutes. The Sonics’ Dale Ellis played 69 minutes and took 39 shots. The Bucks scored 105 points after halftime. Pierce shot 15 of 21 for 36 points but fouled out in the second overtime. The Bucks held on to win despite almost blowing a 155-146 lead with 34 seconds left in the final overtime, leaving the remaining fans emotionally worn out.
Dec. 30, 1990: The Bucks improved to 15-0 at home by beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 117-112. “I’ve been coaching basketball since 1959,” Harris said at the time. “That’s 31 years. I think this was the best game I’ve ever been involved in.” Humphries hit the clinching three-pointer with 16 seconds left against the defending Western Conference champions.
Nov. 5, 1994: The Bucks had a lot of dark times in the early 1990s, but optimism was renewed after the team drafted Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson No. 1 overall in 1994. The rookie and the team had a protracted salary dispute before Robinson agreed to terms on a 10-year, $68.15 million deal just before the regular season. Robinson missed the opening win at Philadelphia but made his debut in front of a raucous Bradley Center crowd against the Lakers. Robinson scored eight points and had five turnovers in 13 minutes off the bench and Marty Conlon hit the winning free throws with 11 seconds to go in a 97-96 victory.
Feb 11, 1999: Due to the NBA lockout, Bucks fans had to wait to see new coach George Karl on the sideline at the Bradley Center. It was worth it as they got to witness Karl lead the team to a 3-0 start with a 95-75 victory over the New Jersey Nets. Ray Allen (19 points) and Robinson (18) led the way but the Bucks also got key contributions off the bench from Vinny Del Negro (12) and Armen Gilliam (11).
June 1, 2001: Allen helped the Bucks bounce back from a heart-breaking loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Allen’s 41 points, including 9 three-pointers, kept Milwaukee’s season alive with a 110-100 victory and forced a Game 7 in Philadelphia. Allen scored 19 consecutive points in a span of 6 minutes 42 seconds. Alas, the Bucks would lose in Philadelphia, falling just short of the NBA Finals.
Nov. 11, 2006: Michael Redd had the best scoring night in Bucks history – 57 points – and it wasn’t enough in a 113-111 loss to the Utah Jazz. Redd shot 18 of 32, including 6 of 12 from three-point range, and made 15 of 17 free throws. He had 42 points in the second half. But after Redd drilled a three to tie the game at 111, Utah’s Matt Harpring went back door for a layup with 1.8 seconds remaining. Redd missed an off-balance shot from long distance at the buzzer.
Nov. 14, 2009: The Bucks were still figuring out what they had in rookie Brandon Jennings when, in his seventh NBA game, the guard dropped 55 points on the Golden State Warriors in a 129-125 win. Jennings did not score in the first quarter. However, he had 29 in the third quarter on 12-of-13 shooting to punish the Warriors’ defense for continually going under screens. Jennings broke a Bucks rookie record for scoring (51 points) set by Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) during the 1969-’70 season.
Dec. 12, 2015: It looked like the Warriors were unbeatable after winning their first 24 games. But in front of a sellout crowd of 18,717 fans, the Bucks shocked the Warriors with a 108-95 victory. Bucks center Greg Monroe dominated Golden State’s small-ball lineup, finishing with 28 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. He had 11 points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.