Milwaukee Bucks cruise past Chicago Bulls on New Year's Day

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and the Milwaukee Bucks used torrid 3-point shooting to blast the short-handed Chicago Bulls 126-96 on Friday.

Milwaukee shot 22 of 45 from 3-point range, and Antetokounmpo was two assists from a second straight triple-double. The reigning two-time MVP had 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists Wednesday in a 119-108 loss at Miami.

The Bucks have beaten the Bulls 11 straight times, the second-longest winning streak by either team in the history of this series The Bulls won 12 straight over the Bucks from December 1995 to March 1998.

Chicago played its second straight game without forwards Lauri Markkanen and Chandler Hutchison as well as guards Ryan Arcidiacono and Tomas Satoransky as part of the NBA’s health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. Markkanen is the Bulls’ second-leading scorer (17.3) and top rebounder (6.8).

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Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before the game Friday that Hutchison had tested positive and was still in Washington, where the Bulls played their last two games. Markkanen, Arcidiacono and Satoransky were back in Chicago.

After the Bulls grabbed a 5-0 lead, the Bucks pulled ahead for good by scoring 12 straight points on four 3-pointers – two from Donte DiVincenzo and one each from Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. Milwaukee broke the game open by closing the first half on a 15-2 run and then scoring the first four points of the third quarter to grab a 66-40 advantage.

The Bucks shot just 7 of 38 on 3-point attempts in a 130-110 loss at New York on Sunday, but they’ve gone 67 of 137 in three games since.

Milwaukee had made an NBA-record 29 3-pointers on 51 attempts in a 144-97 rout of the Miami Heat on Tuesday. The Bucks followed that up by going 16 of 41 in a loss at Miami the next night.

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Bryn Forbes scored 18 points, and Middleton had 14 for the Bucks. Bobby Portis provided 13 points and 12 rebounds. DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton and Jrue Holiday added 11 points each.

Zach LaVine scored 16 points and Denzel Valentine had 14 for the Bulls. Wendell Carter Jr. and Coby White each added 12.


Bulls: Valentine went to the locker room midway through the fourth quarter after the right elbow of Bucks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo hit the left side of Valentine's face as they were battling for a rebound. ... This trip to Milwaukee concluded a three-game road swing for the Bucks, who had won back-to-back games at Washington on Tuesday and Thursday. They briefly come home to face Dallas on Sunday before playing four straight road games.

Bucks: The Bucks played a third straight game without reserve forward Torrey Craig, who underwent surgery Thursday after fracturing his nose Sunday in a loss to the New York Knicks. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he doesn’t expect Craig to be available during this five-game homestand. "I don’t know that we’ve really set a timeline," Budenholzer said. "I think we’re just kind of seeing how he comes out of the procedure that he’s had. But my guess is it’s longer than that."


Bulls: Host Dallas on Sunday night.

Bucks: Host Detroit on Monday night.


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