Giannis Antetokounmpo helps Bucks rout Thunder, 133-86
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 13 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks surged to a 24-point lead in the second quarter in a 133-86 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
The 47-point loss was the Thunder's worst of the season.
Chris Paul scored 18 points for Oklahoma City.
Both teams were without their second-leading scorers. Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton was a late scratch with a sore neck. An ankle injury kept Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari out.
The Bucks had won four in a row and the Thunder had won five straight.
The Bucks built their second-quarter lead behind 14 second-quarter points from Antetokounmpo, seven from Donte Divincenzo, who started in place of Middleton, and back-to-back 3-pointers from Wesley Matthews.
A key moment occurred late in the second period.
With Milwaukee leading, 54-43, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer got a technical foul after approaching a referee during a timeout with 3:43 left in the quarter. That was moments after Eric Bledsoe was called for a charging foul that irked Budenholzer. After that, the Bucks went on a 17-4 run and led 71-47 at halftime.
Milwaukee outrebounded Oklahoma City, 67-36.
The Bucks made a season-high 21 3-pointers. The Thunder were 6 for 35 on 3-pointers.
Thunder: Oklahoma City is one of the top NBA teams statistically in preventing fast-break points partly because it commits relatively few turnovers on offense, coach Billy Donovan said. "If you don't turn the ball over a lot, it gives you a better chance to get the floor balance," he said.
Bucks: Middleton's absence was unexpected. "I think just kind of one of those strange things where, just today he came in, neck was sore," Budenholzer said a couple of hours before tip-off. "We'll see how it goes in the next day or so." Middleton had scored 20 or more points in 11 of his last 12 games. ... Former Bucks great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance, getting a standing ovation when he was introduced midway through the first quarter. ... The Bucks are on pace to become the third team in league history to win at least 70 games.
Thunder: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
Bucks: At Charlotte on Sunday.
Updated February 28, 2020