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LOS ANGELES, USA – Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 30 points and 14 rebounds as the high-scoring Milwaukee Bucks took their frustrations out on the New York Knicks Tuesday with a 109-95 win in their first NBA Christmas game in 41 years.
“This is one of the highest stages,” said Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, who last appeared on Christmas in 1977. “Special teams play Christmas Day, and just it’s an opportunity for us and we’re really happy.”
Brook Lopez scored 20 points in the Bucks’ victory – one of 5 NBA games played on Christmas Day.
Malcolm Brogdon finished with 17 points for the Bucks, who are one of the NBA’s emerging teams and have won 5 of their last 6 games.
Milwaukee leads the league in scoring but they were coming off an embarrassing loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday, December 22, in which they scored just 87 points. The Bucks also wanted to avenge a 136-134 loss in overtime to the Sixers, the last time the two teams met on December 1 at Madison Square Garden.
“People come to see Giannis play but they’ve got to watch all of us, so it’s definitely a great opportunity for the rest of us to showcase as a team what we can do,” Brogdon said.
New York has lost 5 in a row and 10-of-11 since rallying to stun the Bucks earlier this month.
Rookie Kevin Knox scored 21 points for the Knicks in front of the standing-room-only crowd of 19,800 at Madison Square Garden.
New York also dropped to 22-31 in their NBA-record 53 appearances on the holiday.
“It’s on me to stay even in this whole thing, not be up and down emotionally because I (have) to keep their spirits up,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “They feel it. They’re human.” – Rappler.com