NBA regular season

Bucks halt upstart Rockets’ winning streak

Reuters

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Bucks halt upstart Rockets’ winning streak

LAYUP. Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) drives to the basket against the Houston Rockets in the first half at Fiserv Forum.

Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Damian Lillard and the Bucks claim their fourth consecutive win and snap the Rockets' five-game winning streak

Damian Lillard had 39 points and 11 assists as the Milwaukee Bucks posted their fourth straight win, beating the visiting Houston Rockets, 128-119, on Sunday, December 17 (Monday, December 18, Manila time).

Giannis Antetokounmpo added 26 points and 17 rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 20 points, Brook Lopez had 18 and Bobby Portis Jr. finished with 11 for Milwaukee, which shot 50% from the field and snapped the Rockets’ five-game winning streak.

Fred VanVleet led Houston with 22 points. Alperen Sengun tallied 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Dillon Brooks had 18 points. Jalen Green, Jeff Green, and Jabari Smith Jr. each scored 16 points, and Tari Eason chipped in 11.

Houston trailed by as many as 14 late in the third quarter before cutting the deficit to 118-113 when VanVleet scored with 3:26 remaining in the game. Milwaukee scored the next 4 points to help secure the victory and extend its home winning streak to 13 games.

Antetokounmpo passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7,161 rebounds) as the Bucks’ all-time leading rebounder when he grabbed his 14th board nearly midway through the fourth quarter.

Houston lost despite shooting 52.9% from the field and 11 of 27 (40.7%) from three-point range.

Lillard set the tone in the game’s opening minutes and finished with 15 points in the first quarter to help give the Bucks a 33-28 lead.

Milwaukee never trailed following a first quarter that featured 15 ties or lead changes. The Bucks used a 14-6 run to move ahead by 13 late in the second quarter.

Lillard scored 20 points and Antetokounmpo had 17 in the first half to lead the Bucks, who held a 71-60 advantage at the break.

Houston remained within striking distance and trailed 100-91 at the start of the final period.

Milwaukee played without guard Malik Beasley, who missed his second straight game with a non-COVID illness. – Rappler.com

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