Antetokounmpo’s triple-double helps Bucks top Wizards 112-98
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season as the Milwaukee Bucks beat Washington 112-98 on Tuesday night to hand the Wizards their sixth straight loss.
Jrue Holiday scored 22 points, Bobby Portis 17, Khris Middleton 13 and Grayson Allen 10 for the Bucks. The Bucks squandered a 17-point lead before rallying in the fourth quarter as they bounced back from a 136-100 home loss to the Denver Nuggets, their second-most lopsided defeat of the season.
“That wasn’t us as a team,” Antetokounmpo said of the Nuggets game. “I don’t remember the last time I lost by 36 in Milwaukee. Obviously that was kind of embarrassing, but at the end of the night, those nights are going to happen. But we were able to come out (tonight), play hard and play together, try to set the tone.
“We have to realize that in order for us to be great, we’ve got to play hard. We cannot expect that people are just going to hand us the game when we go out there,” he said. “People are coming for us. People are hunting us right now. They get excited when they see, ‘Milwaukee Bucks, world champs.’ We’ve got to play every single night hard and build that habit.”
The Wizards were playing without star guard Bradley Beal due to a sprained left wrist, and had announced Monday that he would miss at least the rest of this trip, which ends Wednesday at Philadelphia.
Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Beal had left the team to visit a specialist earlier in the day due to some swelling and that he’ll be evaluated again in about a week.
Kyle Kuzma scored 25, Montrezl Harrell had 20 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 12 for the Wizards.
Washington trailed 20-5 with the game barely five minutes old but clawed its way back and finally took its first lead on Rui Hachimura’s tiebreaking 3-pointer with 8:35 left.
Antetokounmpo scored the game’s next five points and put the Bucks back ahead by converting a three-point play with 7:50 left.
Harrell made a 12-footer to tie the game with 7:25 remaining, but Holiday sank a 3-pointer 11 seconds later to start a 7-0 Bucks run.
Washington got within 95-94 on consecutive 3-pointers by Spencer Dinwiddie and Caldwell-Pope, but Kuzma missed a 3-point attempt that would have put the Wizards ahead with 4:33 left.
Milwaukee outscored Washington 17-4 the rest of the way.
“I was proud of the way we responded after getting down early, but we’ve got to find a way to just tighten it up on both ends of the ball in crunch time,” Unseld said.
Antetokounmpo took a hard foul from Harrell while driving to the basket with 6:10 left. The nature of the foul angered Portis, who expressed his displeasure to the Wizards.
Harrell originally was called for a common foul, but it was upgraded to a flagrant-1 foul upon review. Antetokounmpo made both free throws to extend the Bucks’ lead to 95-88, then Harrell and Antetokounmpo slapped hands in an apparent peace offering before Milwaukee’s ensuing inbounds pass.
“I respect all of my teammates, but I respect the (heck) out of Bobby for doing that,” Antetokounmpo said. “At the end of the day, we as a team, we’ve got to set the tone. If somebody gets fouled hard, we’re not going to let happen, especially in Milwaukee, in our house, or even on the road.”
Wizards: Thomas Bryant left the game in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle. … Aaron Holiday, the younger brother of Jrue Holiday, started in Beal’s place and had three points in 19 minutes.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in each of his last three triple-doubles. He has 29 career triple-doubles. … George Hill missed a second straight game due to neck soreness. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he doesn’t expect Hill to play Saturday at Portland, the opener of a four-game trip. “I think he’s going to miss a few games here,” Budenholzer said. “We’re going to have to give him a little bit of time and see how he responds to some treatment, to some time off.”
Wizards: At Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Wizards have split two home games with the 76ers this season, losing 117-96 on Dec. 26 and winning 117-98 on Jan. 17.
Bucks: At Portland on Saturday.
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