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Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 35 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds to fuel the host Milwaukee Bucks to a 146-122 victory over the New York Knicks in the quarterfinals of the NBA in-season tournament on Tuesday, December 5 (Wednesday, December 6, Manila time).
Antetokounmpo, who turns 29 on Wednesday, made 15-of-22 shots from the floor, and Damian Lillard recorded 28 points and 7 assists.
Malik Beasley drained six three-pointers for all 18 of his points for the Bucks, who set a season-high in points to advance to the semifinals against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, December 7, in Las Vegas.
Milwaukee shot a robust 60.4% from the floor (55-of-91) and 60.5% from three-point range (23-of-38) en route to notching its 10th win in 12 games overall and ninth in a row at home.
The Bucks also posted a 110-105 win over the Knicks to begin the in-season tournament on November 3.
New York’s Julius Randle scored a season-high 41 points after making 14-of-19 shots from the floor, including all nine shots he attempted in the first half. He eclipsed his previous season-high point total of 29.
Jalen Brunson scored 24 points and RJ Barrett collected 23 points and 8 rebounds for the Knicks. New York’s loss in this quarterfinal game means it will travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Friday.
Lillard scored Milwaukee’s last 13 points to give his team a 75-72 lead at halftime. He capped that surge by sinking a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining.
The Bucks scored 18 of the first 24 points of the third quarter to push their advantage to 93-78. Antetokounmpo scored 8 points in that stretch, highlighted by converting an alley-oop inbounds pass from Khris Middleton.
Milwaukee outscored New York by a 37-24 margin in the third quarter to push its lead to 112-96.
Josh Hart sank a three-pointer to ignite a 7-0 run by the Knicks to start the fourth quarter, but the Bucks bounced back by scoring 13 of the game’s next 15 points.
Cameron Payne’s triple capped the surge to extend Milwaukee’s advantage to 125-105 with 6:42 remaining. – Rappler.com