Antetokounmpo powers Bucks over Harden's Rockets
LOS ANGELES, USA – Milwaukee's NBA Most Valuable Player contender Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points to lead the Bucks to a hard-fought 116-109 victory over reigning MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, January 9 (Thursday, January 10, Manila time).
Antetokounmpo added 21 rebounds and was a physical presence on both ends of the floor as the Bucks battled back from a 60-54 halftime deficit to end the Rockets' 10-game home winning streak.
"He just does everything," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of the imposing Antetokounmpo, who drained 11 of his 14 free-throw attempts. "He has a huge impact on winning.”
The Bucks led by as many as 15 in the 4th quarter, but Harden and the Rockets had whittled that lead to 3 with less than two minutes remaining.
Antetokounmpo, after missing a free throw with 1:39 to play, came out of a timeout and made the second to keep the Bucks ahead by 4.
After Harden turned the ball over, then regained it with a steal only to miss a three-pointer, Antetokounmpo made sure the next Bucks possession produced some points as he rose to tap in a miss by Khris Middleton.
Harden, who finished with 42 points and 11 rebounds, missed another three-pointer and the Bucks held on to take their record to 29-11 – percentage points ahead of the 31-12 Toronto Raptors for the best record in the league.
Malcolm Brogdon added 24 points, connecting on 9-of-12 from the field. All of those baskets came from the paint, where the Bucks outscored the Rockets 70-24.
@JHarden13 tallies 42 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST for the @HoustonRockets against Milwaukee. #Rockets— NBA (@NBA) January 10, 2019
Harden has now recorded at least 30 points and five assists in each of his last 14 games, the longest such streak in @NBAHistory. pic.twitter.com/lPmLa2uZ00
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