NBA regular season

Streaking Bucks continue home domination in dispatching Magic


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Streaking Bucks continue home domination in dispatching Magic

SHOT. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) takes a shot against Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner (22) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum.

Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Bucks close out a nearly perfect nine-game homestand at 8-1 behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Damian Lillard added 24 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks sent the visiting Orlando Magic to a fourth consecutive loss in a 118-114 decision on Thursday, December 21 (Friday, December 22, Manila time).

Milwaukee, a winner now of six straight, used a 21-8 third-quarter run to open a 15-point lead, then held the Magic at bay the rest of the game.

Orlando rallied to pull within 2 points in the fourth quarter, opening the final period on a 9-2 during which Franz Wagner scored 7 of his team-high 29 points.

The Bucks answered by holding the Magic without a point for the ensuing 2:06 and to just 2 points for more than four minutes. Milwaukee pushed its advantage back to double-digits and Orlando could come no closer than within 4 points until the final horn.

Antetokounmpo scored 7 of his game-high point total in the closing 3:12, 5 of which came on 5-of-6 shooting at the free throw line. He finished the contest shooting 15-for-19 from the charity stripe and 11-for-25 from the floor.

Lillard went 10-for-10 at the free throw line to contributor to Milwaukee’s 31-of-35 foul-shooting night as a team and he knocked down 4 of 8 on three-point attempts. He also dished out a game-high 8 assists.

Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez were the only other Bucks scorers to finish in double-figures with 14 points apiece. Malik Beasley and Pat Connaughton each added 8 points in the win, which closed out a nearly perfect nine-game homestand at 8-1 for Milwaukee.

Paolo Banchero scored 23 points for Orlando and Moritz Wagner came off the bench for 21 points and 8 rebounds. Cole Anthony recorded an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double in a reserve role and he dished out 6 assists.

The loss extended Orlando’s losing skid on the road to five games, with its last win away from home coming November 19 against Indiana during a nine-game winning streak. Since the last win in that stretch on December 1, the Magic are just 2-6 with Thursday’s loss. –

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