After making history on Thursday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo will look to continue his offensive onslaught when the Milwaukee Bucks host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Antetokounmpo became Milwaukee’s all-time points leader after going for 44 on 14-of-21 shooting in the Bucks’ 120-119 overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in New York. He added 14 rebounds and six assists.
“To have a front-row seat for the last 3 3/4 years, almost four years, I just feel incredibly fortunate,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “His teammates are beyond happy for him, giving him all the love and everything that he deserves.”
Jrue Holiday added 19 points, eight rebounds and six steals for Milwaukee, and Khris Middleton chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Bucks trailed by nine with 3:52 remaining in regulation, but they were able to force overtime thanks to Antetokounmpo’s game-tying 3-pointer with 18.7 seconds left.
In OT, Antetokounmpo sank a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining to give Milwaukee a one-point edge before Kevin Durant missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.
March was kind to the Bucks, as they went 11-3. They have won four of their past five and also have rattled off six consecutive wins at home.
Conversely, the Clippers have been sliding lately. They have dropped six of their past seven games after falling 135-130 to the host Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
Los Angeles led by seven with just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but DeMar DeRozan took over, scoring nine points in the final 1:36 tie things up by the end of regulation. He then scored 10 points in overtime to finish with 50 on the night, handing the Clippers their fourth straight road loss.
“They picked their defensive intensity up,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “I thought they did a good job with that. We took some bad shots, I thought, during that stretch instead of just continuing to keep playing the way we were playing.”
The Clippers’ Reggie Jackson finished with a team-high 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting, including a 6-of-9 performance from 3-point range, and added seven assists. Paul George supplied 22 points, Marcus Morris Sr. had 20 and Nicolas Batum notched 17 as all five starters scored in double figures.
Los Angeles welcomed back George on Tuesday. He had been sidelined since late December due to an elbow injury.
George’s play has been one of the few bright spots for the Clippers, as the seven-time All-Star is averaging 28 points and 5.5 assists since making his return.
Los Angeles still will be without Norman Powell, who could resume practice next week after sustaining a foot injury. Kawhi Leonard (knee) also has not yet been cleared to take contact, and Brandon Boston Jr. could miss the Milwaukee game because of an illness.
Friday marks the second and final meeting between the Clippers and the Bucks this season. Milwaukee came away with a 137-113 road win back on Feb. 6, behind 28 points from Antetokounmpo and 27 from Holiday.
–Field Level Media