EditorsNote: updates to “37.5 percent” in fifth graf; rewords next-to-last graf
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on his 25th birthday as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their NBA-best winning streak to 14 games with a 119-91 victory Friday over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.
Khris Middleton scored 17 points while Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova added 13 each as the Bucks improved to 10-1 at home to become the second team in the Eastern Conference with double-digit home victories after the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kawhi Leonard scored 17 points for the Clippers in his first game at Milwaukee since the Toronto Raptors earned a victory there in Game 5 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals to take a 3-2 series lead. Leonard’s Raptors went on to win the series in six games on the way to the NBA title.
Paul George added 13 points for the Clippers, who lost for just the second time in their past 11 games.
The victory was never in doubt as the Bucks led 30-15 after one quarter and 52-43 at halftime, though they shot just 37.5 percent from the field in the opening two quarters.
Milwaukee put the game away by outscoring the Clippers 35-19 in the third quarter to take an 87-62 lead, with Antetokounmpo having already sealed his double-double.
The Bucks wound up at 46.8 percent from the field after a far more efficient second half and were 14 of 36 from 3-point range. Milwaukee had a 53-48 rebounding advantage and a convincing 58-38 edge on points in the paint.
Donte DiVincenzo had 11 points for the Bucks, who have not lost since dropping a 103-100 decision at Utah on Nov. 8. That defeat came one game after the Bucks earned a 129-124 victory at Los Angeles over the Clippers when Antetokounmpo scored 38 points. Neither Leonard (rest) nor George (shoulder) played in the first matchup.
Ivica Zubac had 14 points and 12 rebounds while Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell added 11 each on Friday for the Clippers, who dropped to 3-6 on the road. The Clippers lead the NBA in home victories with 13.
The defeat came in the opener of a six-game road trip for the Clippers that will include a stop at Toronto on Wednesday when Leonard will receive his championship ring.
--Field Level Media