NBA: Bucks eke out win over Magic without Antetokounmpo

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Dec 29 2019 12:38 PM


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A dominant fourth quarter powered the host Milwaukee Bucks to their second win without star Giannis Antetokounmpo in as many nights, as they downed the Orlando Magic, 111-110, on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo missed his second game with a back injury, but Milwaukee started and finished strong in his absence. Khris Middleton led the Bucks in scoring Saturday, as he did Friday at Atlanta, posting 21 points.

Milwaukee jumped ahead to lead 37-25 after one quarter, but Orlando chipped away at the deficit over the middle quarters.

A night removed from holding the Philadelphia 76ers to 97 points in a one-point win, the Magic limited the Bucks to 41 combined points in the second and third quarters.

Orlando, which trimmed the Milwaukee lead to four points heading into the final period, was paced by 23 points from Evan Fournier and 21 points from Nikola Vucevic. Jonathan Isaac scored 19 points and made seven steals, a big chunk of Milwaukee's 24 turnovers.

Despite the uncharacteristic lack of ball control -- the Bucks came into Saturday's game averaging 14.6 turnovers per game -- they hit 100 points for a 58th consecutive regular-season game.

The bench contributed to Milwaukee's offensive efficiency. Robin Lopez and George Hill paced a 51-point effort from the Bucks' reserves with 17 points apiece.

The Orlando bench, conversely, scored just 28 points.

Ersan Ilyasova had a big night among the Bucks' starters. He scored 17 points, grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, and dished five assists. Brook Lopez scored 10 points, made three steals and blocked three shots.

Middleton had a team-high seven assists. Pat Connaughton added five assists and eight rebounds off the bench.

Donte DiVincenzo -- starting in place of Eric Bledsoe, who is sidelined with a shin injury -- scored five of his seven points in the pivotal fourth quarter. He also grabbed nine rebounds and doled out five assists.

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