NBA regular season

Bucks hang on for tight win over Mavs

Bucks hang on for tight win over Mavs

THRILLER. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic battles for the ball between the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday.

Photo by Nick Monroe/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks escape as Mavs star Luka Doncic's desperation three-point attempt goes off the mark

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 31 points and 9 rebounds to propel the host Milwaukee Bucks to a 112-109 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, January 15 (Saturday, January 16, Philippine time).

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player made 14-of-21 shots from the floor, though he sank just 1-of-10 attempts from the free-throw line.

Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton drained a pair of pivotal three-pointers late in the 4th quarter to highlight his 25-point performance. He also had 8 rebounds and 6 assists.

Jrue Holiday had 16 points and Brook Lopez added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who overcame a 12-for-25 effort at the foul line to extend their winning streak to 4 games. 

Milwaukee also exacted a bit of revenge after being swept by Dallas in a two-game season series in 2019-2020.

Luka Doncic collected 28 points and 13 assists to lead the Mavs but missed a desperation three-point attempt in the dying seconds.

Tim Hardaway Jr added 22 points for the Mavericks, who saw their season-high, four-game winning streak come to a halt.

Kristaps Porzingis struggled to find his shot in his second game since returning from offseason knee surgery. The 7-foot-3 star had 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds, but he shot 6-of-19 from the floor, including 2-of-11 in the first half.

James Johnson sank a three-pointer to give Dallas a 104-103 lead with 3:09 remaining in the 4th quarter. It marked the Mavericks’ first advantage since 10-9 early in the first.

Dallas’ Willie Cauley-Stein (11 points, 11 rebounds) added a free throw before Middleton drained three-pointers on consecutive possessions to put Milwaukee on top 109-105 with 1:47 to go. 

Doncic halved the deficit with a mid-range jumper, but Porzingis’ three-point bid was well off the mark with 10.4 seconds left.

Middleton made a pair of free throws to push Milwaukee’s lead to 111-107 with 7.8 seconds left. After Doncic made a layup, Lopez pushed the advantage to 112-109 with 1.6 seconds remaining. 

Doncic’s desperation three-point attempt was off the mark as time expired.

Antetokounmpo scored 10 points to stake Milwaukee to a 30-23 lead after the opening quarter, but the advantage was whittled to two after Wes Iwundu drained a three-pointer with 1:43 left in the 2nd. 

Holiday and Middleton each converted wide-open shots from beyond the arc to give the Bucks a 55-47 edge heading into intermission. –

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