Bucks defeat Pelicans; Giannis Antetokounmpo notches triple-double

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season and the Milwaukee Bucks won their sixth straight game, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 136-113 on Saturday night.

In four games since returning from COVID-19 protocols that caused him to miss five games, Antetokounmpo has averaged 33 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists.

The two-time MVP got his 10th assist of the game by finding Grayson Allen for a 3-pointer that put the Bucks ahead 117-97 with 6:55 left. Antetokounmpo hit a 3-pointer 26 seconds later.

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Antetokounmpo’s other triple-double this season came Dec. 12, when he had 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a 112-97 victory over the New York Knicks.

New Orleans’ Josh Hart narrowly missed a triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

The Bucks have scored over 120 points in three straight games. They just recorded a two-game sweep at Orlando with 127-110 and 136-118 triumphs over the Magic.

The two 136-point performances represent Milwaukee's highest-scoring outputs of the season.

Jordan Nwora had 23 points and shot 5 of 7 from 3-point range for the Bucks. Jrue Holiday scored 21, Allen added 16 points and Bobby Portis 14.

Jaxson Hayes scored 23 points for the Pelicans. Devonte' Graham, Hart, Herbert Jones and Garrett Temple each sored 14 points. Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 13 and Willy Hernangomez had 11.

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New Orleans was missing its top two scorers with Brandon Ingram sitting out a second straight game due to a sore left Achilles and Jonas Valanciunas entering COVID-19 protocols.

Milwaukee didn’t have two-time All-Star Khris Middleton or Donte DiVincenzo.

Middleton was out for personal reasons and DiVincenzo was out with a sprained left ankle. DiVincenzo hadn’t made his season debut until Christmas Day because he was recovering from a torn ligament in that ankle.

Tip-ins

Pelicans: Hart nearly recorded a triple-double despite shooting 1 of 6 from 3-point range and 3 of 9 from the line. Hart is 4 of 15 on free-throw attempts against the Bucks. He is 63 of 73 from the line against all other teams.

Bucks: Milwaukee also was missing reserve forwards Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Semi Ojeleye due to NBA health and safety protocols. … Rodney Hood came off the bench late in the first quarter for his first game appearance since Dec. 23.

Up next

Pelicans: Host the Utah Jazz on Monday in the first of three straight home games.

Bucks: Host Detroit Pistons on Monday. The Bucks have won their last 12 matchups with the Pistons.

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