NBA regular season

Bucks complete season sweep of Magic behind balanced effort

Reuters
Bucks complete season sweep of Magic behind balanced effort

ON A ROLL. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo defends Magic center Wendell Carter Jr.

Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks wrap up the year on a five-game winning streak

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 33 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Milwaukee Bucks complete a regular-season sweep of the host Orlando Magic with a 136-118 victory on Thursday, December 30 (Friday, December 31, Manila time).

Jrue Holiday put up 25 points and 7 assists, and Khris Middleton added 22 points and 6 assists as the Bucks ended December on a five-game winning streak.

DeMarcus Cousins fueled a key run with 13 of his 15 points coming in the third quarter, and Bobby Portis and Donte DiVincenzo each had 11 points and 9 rebounds.

The Bucks converted 33-of-36 free throws as Middleton went 7-for-7. Antetokounmpo and Holiday each went 6-for-6, Cousins made all five of his attempts and Wesley Matthews made both of his tries.

Milwaukee won all four games in the season series on the strength of a 274-182 combined first-half scoring edge. The Bucks led 63-51 at halftime on Thursday as Matthews (11 points) hit three triples to highlight Milwaukee’s 31-point second quarter.

Gary Harris’ one-handed dunk sparked a 17-3 run that pulled the Magic even at 71-all in the third quarter. Orlando took an 80-79 lead on Admiral Schofield’s layup in transition, but Cousins responded with a bucket and foul and powered Milwaukee’s 17-5 run to end the period with a 96-85 advantage.

Milwaukee closed out its 11th straight win over Orlando with a 40-point fourth quarter.

Orlando has lost five consecutive home games for the first time this season. The Magic are 2-13 – and 0-11 against Eastern Conference opponents – at the Amway Center.

The Magic had nine available players on Thursday. Tim Frazier and Freddie Gillespie, who both signed 10-day contracts via hardship exceptions on December 21, were in the first unit.

All nine Magic players reached the scoring column, led by Franz Wagner’s 20 points as he followed up a 38-point performance against Milwaukee on Tuesday. Wagner scored in double figures for the 18th consecutive game, giving the second-longest streak by a rookie in franchise history.

Moritz Wagner tied his season high with 19 points and Harris scored 17 points. Wendell Carter Jr. had 14 points and 10 rebounds, RJ Hampton added 15 points and Frazier totaled a season-high 13 points. – Rappler.com

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