Bucks can’t contain Bulls in 109-94 loss

MILWAUKEE — What had been a stout Milwaukee Bucks defense over the last couple weeks reverted back to old form in a 109-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls Sunday afternoon.

Chicago converted on 10 of its 21 (47.6 percent) three-point attempts, while dominating the glass and grabbing 49 rebounds, compared to Milwaukee’s 34. The Bulls used a 35-point third quarter to expand their lead to as many as 20 points.

Nikola Mirotic led the Bulls by tying his season high with 28 points, while Jimmy Butler added 20 for Chicago, along with a career-high 14 assists.

”My mantra is always to pass the ball to the open guy whether it’s late game, early game,” Butler said.

The Bucks were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 22 points and eight rebounds. A win would have given Milwaukee the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference outright, while completing the season sweep of their southern rivals for the first time since the 2000-’01 season. That year, Milwaukee also made the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee has beaten its last 17 opponents when holding them under 100 points.