Jrue Holiday jumper sends Milwaukee into the All-Star Break with a win

Jrue Holiday hit a jumper with 2.0 seconds left to lift Milwaukee past Memphis 112-111 Thursday in the final game of the first half of the season.

The game went back-and-forth in the final minute, as Pat Connaughton gave Milwaukee a 108-107 lead with a 3-pointer only to see the Grizzlies retake the lead with a Dillon Brooks layup. After two free throws from Khris Middleton gave Milwaukee a one-point lead, Ja Morant answered with a driving layup with 7.3 seconds left.

Then it was time for Holiday’s heroics. He grabbed the inbounds pass and went the length of the court before pulling up from the baseline and drilling the shot. Desmond Bane got an OK look for the game-winning 3-pointer for Memphis but it didn’t find the bottom of the net.

Holiday finished with 15 points off the bench in just his third game back following a battle with COVID-19. Connaughton also had 15 as Milwaukee won for a sixth time in its last seven games.

The Bucks were paced by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Khris Middleton added 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Morant went off for 35 points but it took him 25 shots to get there, while Brooks had 23 points.

The win left Milwaukee at 22-14 at the break, good enough for third in the Eastern Conference and two games back of first-place Philadelphia.

The team is now off until March 11 when the Bucks will host New York at Fiserv Forum.

Bucks have 5-game winning streak snapped in blowout loss to Denver

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his ninth triple-double of the season and 50th of his career, and the Denver Nuggets trounced Milwaukee 128-97 on Tuesday to snap the Bucks’ five-game winning streak.

Jamal Murray added 24 points as the Nuggets earned their third straight victory and showed no signs of wear one night after winning 118-112 at Chicago. Denver handed Milwaukee its most lopsided loss of the year and shot 55.8%, the highest field-goal percentage by any Bucks opponent this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and eight rebounds for Milwaukee as the Bucks finished an eight-game homestand in which they went 5-3. Khris Middleton added 20 points.

Milwaukee will now hit the road for a matchup with Memphis on Thursday, the final game before the NBA All-Star Break.

Bucks beat Clippers for 5th straight win, Giannis scores 36

Giannis Antetokounmpo took over late and Milwaukee beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-100 on Sunday to claim a fifth straight win.

After leading by as many as 11 in the third quarter, the Bucks went to the fourth trailing by four. Coming into the game Milwaukee was 0-10 on the season when trailing going into the final quarter, but Antetokounmpo couldn’t have cared less. All the two-time MVP did was score 17 of Milwaukee final 21 points, including a monster dunk with 10.3 seconds left to give the Bucks a three-point lead.

Antetokounmpo finished with 36 points, his fourth-straight game with 35 or more points. He added 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

Khris Middleton had 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Bucks, while Donte DiVincenzo had 11 points and Brook Lopez added 10.

Point guard Jrue Holiday returned after missing the last 10 games as part of the NBA’s COVID-19 safety protocols. He played 18 minutes, scoring two points and dishing out three assists.

The Clippers were paced by Kawhi Leonard’s 25 points and nine rebounds. Paul George had 16 points and Serge Ibaka contributed 15.

Milwaukee improved to 21-13 on the season and will look for its longest winning streak of the season when Denver comes to town Tuesday night.

Career night from Donte DiVincenzo helps Bucks to fourth straight win

A huge night from Donte DiVincenzo and big contributions from Milwaukee’s established stars powered the Bucks to a 129-125 win over New Orleans on Thursday night.

DiVincenzo scored a career-best 24 points and took a charge in the final minute to help the Bucks to seal the game. The former first-round pick added nine assists, tied for the most in his career, and seven rebounds to push Milwaukee to its fourth-straight win.

Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 38 points, becoming the first Bucks player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1973 to score 35-plus points in three straight games. He added 10 rebounds and four assists, while sidekick Khris Middleton poured in 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson paced his team with 34 points and eight rounds, while Brandon Ingram had 23 points and Lonzo Ball had 20.

The win allowed Milwaukee a measure of revenge after New Orleans won the first matchup between the two teams in late January.

The Bucks last 14 games include a five-game winning streak, a five-game losing streak and now a four-game winning streak. They’ll look to make it five in-a-row on Sunday when the LA Clippers come to Milwaukee.

Bucks release second-half schedule

The NBA released its second half schedule Wednesday and for Milwaukee it features 36 games between March 11 and May 16.

The Bucks will return from the All-Star break with a game at Fiserv Forum against the New York Knicks before heading on the road for three games, including two in Washington.

Milwaukee will play 10 games on national TV (ABC, ESPN, TNT), including marquee matchups with Philadelphia (March 17), at the Los Angeles Lakers (March 31) and two consecutive games against Brooklyn (May 2, May 4).

The longest road trip of the second half runs from March 29-April 8 with games against the LA Clippers, Lakers, Portland, Sacramento, Golden State and Dallas. Four of those six teams are currently in position to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. Milwaukee will play 16 games in the month of April and 11 will be away from home.

The Bucks are currently 19-13 on the year and sitting third in the Eastern Conference. They are 1.5 games back of second-place Brooklyn and 2.0 games back of the Sixers.

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Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton not among Eastern Conference reserves for All-Star Game

Milwaukee will have just one representative at the NBA All-Star Game next month.

The league announced the reserves Tuesday and forward Khris Middleton did not make the cut.

“I’m a little disappointed, I’m not going to lie,” Middleton said after the Bucks beat Minnesota at Fiserv Forum. “But I definitely want to say congrats to all those guys that did make it.”

Middleton had made the game the last two years but it can be argued that this season has been the best of his career. He’s averaging 20.5 points and six rebounds per game, both of which are just off his career-highs set last season. Other numbers are the best of his time with the Bucks, including shooting 50.5% from the field and handing out 5.7 assists per game. He’s also hitting at a 43.1% clip from beyond the arc, the second-best percentage of his career.

“We feel like Khris is an All-Star. We feel like he deserves it,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The numbers, and everything, his efficiency, and what he does in a game on both ends of the court is very special.”

Three of the players that beat out Middleton will be first-timers: Boston’s Jaylen Brown, Chicago’s Zach LaVine and New York’s Julius Randle. The rest of the reserves on the Eastern Conference side include Brooklyn’s James Harden, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vučević.

“The other players that made the team are having a great season,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will start his fifth consecutive All-Star Game. “But Khris is an All-Star. Bottom line, he’s an All-Star.”

Bucks beat Minnesota for third straight win

Minnesota owned the worst record in the NBA coming into their matchup with Milwaukee on Tuesday night. After allowing the Timberwolves to hang around for a quarter, the Bucks took control in a 139-112 win, their third victory in a row.

Milwaukee led 38-36 after the first quarter before outscoring the visitors by 15 the rest of the first half. The Bucks increased their lead in the third, heading to the final quarter up 23. Minnesota got to within 15 in the fourth but go no closer.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the field and went 10-for-13 from the free throw line. In just 29 minutes of action he added eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in the blowout victory.

Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez each had 15 points, and Donte DiVincenzo had 13 points and five assists.

Milwaukee got a season-high 23 points from Bryn Forbes (5-for-9 3P) off the bench, while Bobby Portis had 14 points and six rebounds.

The Bucks hit 20 3-pointers, the sixth time this year they made 20 or more shots from beyond the arc.

Karl-Anthony Towns had a double double with 26 points and 11 assists for Minnesota. Guard Malik Beasley also had 26 for the Timberwolves, who were playing their first game under new coach Chris Finch.

Milwaukee improved to 19-13 on the year and 3-2 on its current eight-game home stand. Next up is a visit from New Orleans on Thursday.

Giannis, Middleton combine for 70 points in win vs Sacramento

Milwaukee’s two stars lit up the scoreboard Sunday night in a 128-115 win against Sacramento.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 38 points, 18 rebounds and four assists, while Khris Middleton had 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Half of Antetokounmpo’s points came at the charity stripe, as he made a career-best 19 free throws on 24 attempts.

Donte DiVincenzo chipped in 16 points, while Pat Connaughton and Bryn Forbes combined for 22 off the bench.

Playing in his home state for the first time since high school, Oshkosh native Tyrese Haliburton scored 23 points and had eight assists to lead the Kings.

Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday missed his seventh straight game due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, but could be getting close to a return as he attended the game.

Roughly 1,800 fans were allowed in the building, the first time the general public was able to watch a game at Fiserv Forum since last March.

Milwaukee improved to 18-13 on the year and has now split the first four games of eight straight at home. The Bucks will host Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Bucks snap five-game losing streak with win over Oklahoma City

Milwaukee snapped its five-game losing streak Friday night with a 98-85 win over Oklahoma City.

The Bucks led by as many as 22 in the third quarter and had a 16-point lead heading into the fourth. The Thunder made a run, getting to within six midway through the period before Milwaukee was able to put them away.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks, scoring 29 points, grabbing a season-high 19 rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Khris Middleton added 20 points and eight rebounds, while Bryn Forbes had 10 points off the bench.

Oklahoma City was paced by Lu Dort’s 17 points, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander chipped in 14 points.

The win was the first for the Bucks without guard Jrue Holiday, who remains out due to the NBA’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Milwaukee improved to 17-13 on the year and will host Sacramento on Sunday.

Bucks losing streak reaches five with loss to Toronto

The Milwaukee Bucks are in the midst of their longest losing streak in four years.

Toronto beat Milwaukee 110-96 Thursday night, handing the Bucks their fifth-straight loss. Milwaukee trailed by 17 at the half but was able to whittle the lead down to 10 in the fourth quarter. However, that was as close as the Bucks would get as they became the first team in NBA history to follow a five-game winning streak of double-digits by losing its next five.

The Raptors were paced by Norman Powell’s 29 points, while Pascal Siakam added 27 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists before fouling out late in the game. Guard Donte DiVincenzo had 14 points and Khris Middleton chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds.

Point guard Jrue Holiday missed his fifth game due to the NBA’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Milwaukee dropped to 16-13 on the year. The Bucks will welcome Oklahoma City to Fiserv Forum on Friday night.