Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his 32 points in the second half and Khris Middleton finished with 21 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 111-104 victory over the Orlando Magic Saturday night at the Amway Center.
Antetokounmpo and Middleton combined to hit 22 of 37 shots from the floor as the Bucks’ offense connected at a 52.4 percent clip and made 9 of 25 3-point attempts despite playing without center John Henson (hamstring) and forward Jabari Parker, who was held out of the second game of a back-to-back as he eases his way back after returning from ACL surgery.
Defensively, the Bucks held Orlando to 44.6 percent shooting and an 8-for-30 mark from distance.
Mario Hezonja led the Magic with 23 points while Evan Fournier finished with 20 and Shelvin Mack added 19 off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting.
Hezonja scored nine of Orlando’s first 11 points and the Magic used a 9-0 run late in the opening quarter to take a 29-22 lead. Antetokounmpo knocked down a jumper with 3.3 seconds left in the quarter but Milwaukee, which went 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, went into the second down 29-24 to the Magic, who connected on five long-range attempts.
The Magic stretched their lead to nine in the second before Milwaukee responded, but Mack made all six of his shots in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Orlando held on to a 54-50 lead at halftime.
Milwaukee outscored Orlando 13-8 to open the second half and regained the lead when Middleton fed Antetokounmpo for a dunk with 8:04 left in the third.
A jumper from Middleton gave the Bucks a 100-93 lead with 3:04 left. Simmons and Fournier followed with buckets to get the Magic within three with 2:19 remaining, but a 9-3 run including five from Antetokounmpo put Milwaukee up nine and the Bucks held on for the victory.
Orlando had won three straight coming into the game while Milwaukee improved to 8-2 under Joe Prunty, who took over as head coach when Jason Kidd was fired on Jan. 22.
—Field Level Media