Barton, Nuggets hand Bucks rare defeat at home, 127-115
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Will Barton had 24 points and eight assists to lead the tired and short-handed Denver Nuggets to a 127-115 victory Friday night that snapped Milwaukee's nine-game winning streak and handed the NBA-leading Bucks just their third home loss this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Milwaukee, finishing just shy of his fifth triple-double this season. Khris Middleton added 24 points for the Bucks, who hadn’t lost at home since Dallas beat them 120-116 on Dec. 16.
Malik Beasley scored 16 points for Denver. Nikola Jokić had 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Michael Porter Jr. added 15 points and 11 rebounds as every member of the Nuggets that played scored in double figures.
Porter got tangled up under the Bucks’ basket and fell awkwardly at 10:27 of the fourth quarter. He was helped to the bench and did not return.
Denver shot 7 of 13 on 3-pointers in the third while the Bucks were simply outhustled and lost their touch from behind the arc, going 2 for 8. After trailing by seven at halftime, the Nuggets took their first lead at 78-77 late in the quarter on a 3 by Beasley. Barton hit a jumper and Denver never lost the lead the rest of the way.
The Nuggets arrived at their hotel at 4:30 a.m. following Thursday night's home win over Utah and were without two key starters in Paul Millsap (bruised left knee) and Jamal Murray (left ankle sprain), but their bench responded in the first half behind 11 points from Porter and 10 from Juancho Hernangomez.
Denver (34-15) leads the Northwest Division and has won eight of 11. The Nuggets improved to 15-9 on the road.
Antetokounmpo and his brother, Thanasis, made some personal history when they started together for the first time in the NBA to put some splash on the Bucks’ Greek Heritage Night. Thanasis Antetokounmpo stole an errant pass with a minute gone, raced the length of the court and threw down a two-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.
Giannis Antetokounmpo flirted with a triple-double by the second quarter with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Middleton added 16 points, going 4 for 4 from behind the arc. Eric Bledsoe chipped in with 10 points and the Bucks led 67-60 at the break.
Giannis Antetokounmpo missed Tuesday’s win with right shoulder soreness and hadn’t played since putting up 30 points and 16 rebounds last Friday when Milwaukee beat the Charlotte Hornets 116-103 in Paris.
Nuggets: Millsap missed his 13th consecutive game and Murray his ninth. Backup center Mason Plumlee (right foot) and guard Gary Harris (personal) also were out.
Bucks: Milwaukee guards George Hill (left hamstring) and Donte DiVincenzo (left ankle) are each expected to miss a few games after sustaining the injuries Tuesday against the Wizards.
IT’S ALL GREEK
The Bucks’ starters were introduced in Greek as part of the night’s Hellenic celebration.
Nuggets: Play at Detroit on Sunday.
Bucks: Host Phoenix on Sunday.Published 01 Feb 2020, 10:35 IST