Giannis Antetokounmpo is within the midst of top-of-the-line scoring stretches of his profession.
Nonetheless, making the defensive stops in clutch moments is one thing the two-time league MVP relishes. He’ll look to make his mark on each ends once more when his Milwaukee Bucks play host to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
“It is nice while you go towards the most effective on the planet down the stretch,” stated Antetokounmpo, who performed a significant function Sunday within the Bucks’ 105-100 comeback win over the Los Angeles Clippers. “I like simply taking that particular person satisfaction in guarding the most effective gamers.”
Antetokounmpo, who scored 36 factors and added 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocked pictures, helped Milwaukee end off the Clippers with a 9-0 run to shut the sport. The Bucks earned a season-high-tying fifth consecutive win.
Antetokounmpo has scored 35 or extra factors in 4 consecutive video games, becoming a member of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the one gamers in Bucks historical past to take action. Abdul-Jabbar had 4 such streaks of not less than 4 video games in his Milwaukee tenure.
On the defensive finish, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks held the Clippers scoreless over the ultimate 4 minutes.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks face one other robust problem on protection once they try and gradual Nikola Jokic on Tuesday. The Denver middle barely missed his ninth triple-double of the season and fiftieth of his profession on Monday night time within the Nuggets’ 118-112 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Jokic completed with 39 factors, 14 rebounds and 9 assists to assist the Nuggets win their second in a row to open a five-game highway journey.
“I see all these conversations about who would you need to begin a franchise with,” Denver coach Michael Malone stated. “I’ve by no means seen Nikola’s identify talked about, and I am dumbfounded by that.”
Jokic, 26, scored 17 factors within the fourth quarter to save lots of the Nuggets after they noticed a 15-point lead slip away they usually fell behind by six.
Denver’s Jamal Murray completed with 24 factors and Michael Porter Jr. added 17 factors and 15 rebounds.
“We have been sloppy, I feel,” Jokic stated. “I simply wished to be aggressive, change the rhythm, in all probability. I feel I did.”
The Bucks ought to be getting stronger as Sunday’s sport marked the return of Jrue Vacation from a 10-game absence attributable to COVID-19.
“Conditioning is just a bit behind. I felt like I used to be a step gradual,” stated Vacation, who performed 18 minutes and completed with two factors and three assists.
Khris Middleton and Donte DiVincenzo picked issues up in Vacation’s absence. Middleton has two 30-plus-point video games in his previous 4 contests, and DiVincenzo poured in a career-high 24 throughout the Bucks’ Thursday win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Now we have to show it by doing it time and again, not only one sport or two video games,” Middleton stated after the victory over the Clippers, through which he had 10 factors and eight assists. “However I feel tonight was an important signal that we’re headed in the correct route so far as defensively.”
The Bucks do not determine to see the Nuggets’ complete roster on Tuesday. Denver performed with out R.J. Hampton, Facundo Campazzo and Markus Howard on Monday because of well being and security protocols.
Nuggets starters Paul Millsap (knee) and Gary Harris (groin) additionally have been absent at Chicago, they usually aren’t anticipated to return till after the All-Star break. JaMychal Inexperienced missed the Bulls contest because of a shoulder damage.
Jaylen Adams (well being and security protocols) and Jordan Nwora (left ankle sprain) are anticipated to stay out for the Bucks.
–Area Degree Media