Antetokounmpo scores 39, Bucks beat Wizards 123-96
MILWAUKEE -- For the first time in his NBA career, 22-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo's dominance led to loud "M-V-P" chants from the crowd.
Antetokounmpo had a career-high 39 points, eight rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks had no trouble beating the Washington Wizards 123-96 on Friday night.
"We could sit here and talk about him all day," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. "He was great."
Milwaukee scored a season-high in the first half to lead 73-58 and cruised to victory. It was the most points given up in a half this season by the Wizards.
"Everything went wrong," Washington coach Scott Brooks said.
Antetokounmpo made 12 of 19 shots and 15 of 17 free throws in 33 minutes. With the Bradley Center crowd chanting "M-V-P," the 6-foot-11 forward missed a free throw with just over 6 minutes left that would have given him 40 points.
"In my mind I was going `Wow," he said of the chants. "But I'm not there yet. I'm going to keep working hard, keep helping my team to do things and get wins, and hopefully I can get there one day."
The Bucks led 109-82 at the time, and two possessions later Kidd removed Antetokounmpo for the rest of the game.
"What was special about Giannis tonight is we didn't call his number, the ball found him and he delivered," Kidd said. "He did the hard work by putting the ball in the basket."
John Wall and Otto Porter scored 18 points each for Washington, but the Wizards trailed 100-78 after three quarters and neither played in the fourth. Wall had 10 assists in just under 32 minutes.
"They killed us in fast-break points, second-chance points and free throws," Wall said. "All that. They beat us in all phases."
Jabari Parker added 21 points and eight rebounds for Milwaukee, which had lost five of seven. Malcolm Brogdon made all seven of his shots for 17 points, and added seven assists in 29 minutes.
Bradley Beal missed seven of 10 shots and scored only 10 points in 31 minutes for the Wizards. He came into the game averaging 22.7 points.
The Bucks took the lead for good, 17-16, on a free throw by Parker with 6:03 left in the first quarter, and extended it to 56-36 midway through the second. Washington never got within single digits the rest of the game.
Antetokounmpo's previous high was 34 points, done twice, the latest on Nov. 29, against Cleveland.
In addition, Milwaukee's reserves outscored Washington's bench, 42-28.
Wizards: Porter started after missing the second half of Wednesday's game at Chicago with back spasms. ... Washington beat the Bucks 110-105 on Dec. 10.
Bucks: F Michael Beasley missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained left foot. ... G Rashad Vaughn sprained his left ankle during shootaround Friday and missed the game. ... G Khris Middleton, who underwent surgery on his left hamstring before the season, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he expects to play this year, but acknowledged he was a long way off from playing.
OFFENSE ISN'T EVERYTHING
Milwaukee's Mirza Teletovic missed all nine of his shots, but the Bucks outscored the Wizards by 23 points during his 24 minutes of action. "That's pretty incredible," Kidd said. "To not score a point and have that big of an impact on the game, so his defense must have been really good."
IN THE PAINT
Before the game, Brooks said the key for his team was to stop Milwaukee from scoring inside, but the Bucks outscored the Wizards 66-46 in the paint. "We can't expect to win on the road against a very athletic team giving up easy buckets around the paint. That's what they do. We didn't make them play to their weakness at all."
Milwaukee played two games with both Chicago and Cleveland before starting this back-to-back series with the Wizards. The Bucks beat Chicago twice and lost two to the Cavaliers. "I've never seen anything like it in my playing or coaching career," Brooks said of the quirky schedule. "It's almost like a playoff mentality." The Bucks and Wizards play four times in 32 days this season.
Wizards: Host Bucks on Monday.
Bucks: At Wizards on Monday.
Regular Season Series
Series tied 1-1
- Sean Corbin
- Leon Wood
- Gediminas Petraitis
2022-23 Southeast Standings