Bucks too strong for Thunder

February 29, 2020
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists against the Thunder.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points as the Milwaukee Bucks won their third game of the season by 40 or more points with a 133-86 demolition of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Antetokounmpo added 13 rebounds and six assists while playing just 27 minutes for the Bucks, who won their fifth straight game since the all-star break.

“It feels good. It feels good seeing other guys going out there, playing hard and being up 40 points, sitting on the bench, relaxing, having fun,” Antetokounmpo said. “Everyone is smiling. Games like these are always the best games.

“We were extremely ready. We moved the ball. We were defending. We know that in the fourth quarter, they always come back to the game. We never relaxed.”

Antetokounmpo also responded Friday to a dig by Houston Rockets James Harden who criticized the Greek star’s skill set.

“My game is not just power for sure,” he said. “I came in when I was 18, I was 180 pounds, so to power through big guys was kind of tough.”

But Antetokounmpo took the high road and said there are things he still has to work on.

“I try to work on my game, midrange shots, threes, being able to screen and roll faster and make the right pass.

“It’s hard to drive full speed and try to make the right pass to the corner. I try to get my passes more accurate and it’s a lot of things I’m still adding, and hopefully when I add all those things in my game, I’m a more complete player.”

Milwaukee’s 47-point victory narrowly missed being the biggest margin in the league this season, but they have now tied the NBA record for most 40 plus wins in a season with three.

In November, the Los Angeles Clippers beat Atlanta by 49 points.

Milwaukee used a five-minute stretch in the second quarter to seize control of the game, going on a 24-2 run. The Bucks already led 46-43 before the run.

They drained a season high 21 three-pointers in the win. Wesley Matthews and Pat Connaughton each nailed four from behind the arc.

Milwaukee dominated on the glass as well, outrebounding the Thunder 66-36.

Chris Paul, who scored 18 points for Oklahoma City, called it a spanking.

“We got a lot of really good looks, but our defense and our rebounding wasn’t much tonight,” Paul said. “It’s just an old-fashioned butt-whooping.”

Elsewhere, Terry Rozier made a clutch free throw for the go-ahead basket with two seconds left as the Charlotte Hornets beat the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors 99-96.

Rozier finished with 18 points and Devonte Graham also scored 18 points for the Hornets, who have won two in a row and handed the short-handed Raptors their second straight loss.

Toronto’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson committed a late foul to give the Hornets one free throw and possession of the ball after Rozier made it.

Graham then was fouled and made two free throws with 1.2 seconds to play.

Miles Bridges had 17 points, PJ Washington 15 and Bismack Biyombo 13 points and 11 rebounds in the win.