Antetokounmpo hits 22 points to propel Bucks past Magic
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Los Angeles, Tuesday
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo shook off foul trouble to score 13 of his 22 points in the second half Monday as the Bucks pulled away for a 121-99 NBA victory over the Magic in Orlando.
Antetokounmpo, the two-time defending NBA Most Valuable Player, showed no sign of the back spasms that forced him out of the Bucks win over Cleveland on Saturday, adding six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Khris Middleton scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Bobby Portis chipped in 20 points off the bench as the Bucks notched their fifth win in six games.
Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic led all scorers with 28 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough in the first meeting between the teams since Milwaukee ousted Orlando in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in August.
Orlando forward Aaron Gordon threw down a dunk over Antetokounmpo early in the fourth to pull the Magic within 88-86.
Antetokounmpo responded with a three-pointer and assisted on Portis’s shot from beyond the arc as the Bucks rebuilt their lead.
After Gordon’s dunk, the Bucks scored 22 of the next 24 points as they put the game out of reach.
“He’s growing in all ways and it was just two huge plays, because the momentum could’ve swung on the dunk,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo’s late-game effort.
It was a tight finish in Portland, where CJ McCollum scored 30 points, including the game-winning pull-up jumper with 9.9 seconds remaining to give the host Trail Blazers a 112-111 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Toronto’s Pascal Siakam missed a floater in the closing seconds and the Blazers escaped with a victory after trailing by as many as 17 points.
The Blazers posted their third straight win, despite losing center Jusuf Nurkic to a left quadriceps contusion in the first quarter. - AFP