Giannis, Bucks easily dispatch of Nets

Giannis Antetokounmpo encountered little difficulty collecting 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks led most of the way and cruised to a 117-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night in New York.

Antetokounmpo posted his 37th double-double while also tying his career-high with eight turnovers, including four offensive fouls. The star forward made 12 of 20 shots and hit two 3-pointers as the Bucks pushed their winning streak to six games and beat the Nets for the 16th time in the past 19 meetings.

Khris Middleton added 20 points as the Bucks led for the final 40:33, shot 50.6 percent (45 of 89) and led by as many as 25 points. Former Nets center Brook Lopez contributed 12 points while Donte DiVincenzo and Wesley Matthews finished with 11 points apiece. Kyle Korver chipped in 10.

The Bucks excelled in virtually every category. They outscored the Nets 48-36 in the paint, hit 45.9 percent (17 of 37) of their 3-pointers and outrebounded Brooklyn 54-47.

Kyrie Irving scored 17 points, but the Nets lost their third straight and dropped to 2-10 in their past 12 games. Rookie Nicolas Claxton added 14 for the Nets, who took their third straight double-digit loss.

Taurean Prince added 13 but shot 4 of 15 and missed nine of 12 3-point tries. Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Brooklyn shot 33.3 percent (33 of 99) overall and 30.6 percent (15 of 49) on 3-pointers.

The Nets were missing three rotation players as Joe Harris (sore back), DeAndre Jordan (dislocated right middle finger) and Garrett Temple (right knee contusion) sat out.

Milwaukee scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 30-22 lead. The Bucks took their first 10-point lead when Antetokounmpo’s 3-pointer made it 34-24 less than a minute into the second and held a 57-42 lead at halftime after Middleton hit two 3-pointers in the final minute.

Matthews’ jumper gave Milwaukee its first 20-point lead at 70-50 with eight minutes left in the third quarter, and the Bucks held a 93-71 edge going into the fourth. Brooklyn was within 96-81 on a 3-pointer by Prince with 8:20 left but Milwaukee scored 10 straight points to take a 106-81 edge on a 3-pointer by Dragan Bender with 5:18 remaining.

--Field Level Media