Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to action after sitting out two games with a sore right knee and scored 41 points in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 116-91 rout of the Brooklyn Nets Friday night at the Bradley Center.
Antetokounmpo hit 14 of 20 shots and made 10 of 11 from the free throw line. He flirted with a triple-double, as well, grabbing 13 rebonds to go with seven assists, two steals and a pair of blocked shots as the Bucks, playing without point guard Malcolm Brogdon (strained left calf), improved to 2-0 since firing head coach Jason Kidd Monday afternoon.
Khris Middleton hit a pair of 3-pointers and connected on 9 of 14 shots overall to finish with 21 points. Eric Bledsoe added 14 and John Henson had 12 with 10 rebounds as Milwaukee shot 51.8 percent from the floor and made 12 of 23 from deep.
D‘Angelo Russell and DeMarre Carroll scored 14 each to lead Brooklyn.
The duo combined to go 10-for-24 from the floor. The Nets struggled as a whole offensively, making just 37.1 percent of their shots including an 8-for-34 mark on 3-point attempts.
Antetokounmpo made his presence known early, scoring 11 points in the first quarter as Milwaukee raced out to a 27-10 lead. The Bucks committed just one turnover in the quarter and hit their first four 3-pointers, only missing their first when Thon Maker came up empty on a heave at the buzzer, sending the Bucks to the second quarter up 33-15.
The Nets would miss 10 of their first attempts from beyond the arc and shot just 25.6 percent overall in the half as the Bucks, behind 24 from Antetokounmpo, went into the locker room with a 58-35 lead.
A 10-2 Brooklyn run to open the second half got the Nets within 15 after Joe Harris knocked down a 3-pointer with 9:21 left in the quarter. They got within nine to open the fourth but the Bucks broke the game open with a 15-0 run late in the quarter to pull away for the victory.
--Field Level Media