NBA: Bucks whip Pelicans without star, win 16th straight

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Dec 12 2019 03:11 PM

Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown (23) shoots against New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (10) at Fiserv Forum. Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Eric Bledsoe scored 29 points as the host Milwaukee Bucks won their 16th consecutive game despite the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, routing the New Orleans Pelicans, 127-112, on Wednesday night.

Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP, sat out the game because of a sore quad tendon and three teammates joined Bledsoe in double figures. Khris Middleton scored 24, Ersan Ilyasova added 18 and George Hill had 13.

The Bucks, who are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the best record in the league (22-3), matched their longest winning streak since winning 16 in a row over two seasons in 1973.

JJ Redick scored 31, Brandon Ingram had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday scored 21 and rookie Jaxson Hayes had 12 points to lead the Pelicans, who lost their 10th game in a row.

The Pelicans, who had made just 11 of 70 3-pointers in their last two games, hit 16 of 45 on Wednesday. But they shot just 44.3 percent (39 of 88) overall, while Milwaukee shot 53.8 percent (50 of 93) from the floor.

The Bucks led, 69-46, at halftime, but the Pelicans started chipping away in the third quarter.

They crept within 95-82 on rookie Nickeil Alexander-Walker's 3-pointer with 2:43 left in the period.

Sterling Brown scored five points as Milwaukee rebuilt the lead to 105-86 at the end of the quarter.

Hill's basket gave Milwaukee a 111-88 lead early in the fourth quarter and they kept New Orleans at a safe distance the rest of the way.

Ingram, the Pelicans' leading scorer with an average of 24.9 points per game, went to the bench after committing his third foul with 5:45 left in the first quarter. The Bucks had a 25-12 lead.

The lead grew to 35-12 before Redick made a basket for New Orleans. Holiday scored the final six points, leaving Milwaukee with a 35-20 lead at the end of the period.

The Pelicans cut the lead to 11 early in the second quarter, but the Bucks built it to as many as 28 points before taking a 69-46 halftime lead.

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