Giannis Antetokounmpo dazzles with 50 points as Bucks lead Pelicans

Giannis Antetokounmpo dazzles with 50 points as Bucks lead Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans were one of the best stories in the league until the end of the 2022 calendar year with a 23-12 record and a top spot in the Western Conference. But 2023 has been unlucky as they’ve been injured and gone 3-12 since then, including seven straight losses heading into Sunday’s game at Fiserv Forum.

Milwaukee offered little respite as the Bucks beat the Pelicans, 135-110, to win their fourth straight game and sixth in their last seven. The Bucks improved to 33-17 while the Pelicans dropped to 26-25.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 50 points in the Bucks’ win

For the fourth time this season, Antetokounmpo has scored 40 points in back-to-back games, following his 41-point effort in Indiana on Friday with 50 pieces against the Pelicans.

His previous pairs of 40-point or more efforts were:

  • Oct. 22 vs. Houston: 44
  • Oct. 26 vs. Brooklyn: 43
  • Dec. 19 at New Orleans: 42
  • Dec. 21 at Cleveland: 45
  • Dec. 28 at Chicago: 45
  • December 30 vs. Minnesota 43
  • Jan. 3 vs. Washington 55

It was the 10thth the first time he scored at least 40 in a game this season and the second time he scored at least 50.

Antetokounmpo was aggressive and dominant from the start of the game, making his first three shots for seven points as the Bucks raced out to a 12-2 lead. He made his first five shots and scored 18 in the first quarter on 8-of-9 shooting.

BOX SCORE: Bucks 135, Pelicans 110

He continued his onslaught with 27 points at the half, but looked like he might slow it down with a six-point third quarter. If anything, he just eased off the gas for the frame as he dropped 15 points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-5 shooting.

Antetokounmpo’s final basket was memorable as he put the exclamation point on his fifth 50-point game as he pushed Herb Jones and then went in for a 29-foot 3-pointer.

He made 20 of his 26 shots in 30 minutes, including 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line. He was 7-for-12 from the free throw line. He also pulled down 13 rebounds and dished out four assists.

The Bucks slow down Jonas

Jonas Valančiūnas had his best night of the season against the Bucks the last time the two teams met on Dec. 19 in New Orleans, making 7-of-10 3-pointers (and 14-of-24 overall) for 37 points. He also had 18 points and five assists in the Bucks’ win.

Without Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum to draw attention, the Bucks didn’t let the Pelicans big man loose offensively on Sunday, as he went just 2-for-7 for four points early in the first quarter. And then he went to the bench with just over 4 minutes left in the first half with three fouls.

He had nine points on 4-for-12 shooting in the first half as the Bucks basically shut out the Pelicans.

Valančiūnas finished with 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting, and was just 0-for-2 from behind the three-point line. He also had just three rebounds.

The Bucks continue the offensive attack

Since a 95-point effort at Miami on Jan. 14, the Bucks have averaged 128.1 points per game. Five of their six highest-scoring games have also come in that span, and they’ve scored at least 130 points on five occasions after doing so just once in their previous 43 games.

They shot 66.7 percent in the first quarter for 37 points and scored 62 at halftime before scoring a season-high 44 in the third quarter (they also gave up 44).

Antetokounmpo noted that offensive energy was high in Detroit (150 points) and Grayson Allen echoed that in Indiana (141), and the Bucks guard added Sunday morning that it comes from ball movement and shooting. He said that when that happens, it tends to result in a clearer distribution of the ball, and then more shots to fall.

The Bucks’ three-point shooting was a little up and down against the Pelicans, but they still shot 39.5 percent (17-for-43) on their way to 55.2 percent overall.

Antetokounmpo led the way, but Jrue Holiday (17), Brook Lopez (15) also reached double figures, while 10 Bucks total scored.

5 numbers

7 First quarter points for Khris Middleton in just four minutes as Middleton went 3-for-4 from the field. His minutes were extended for the first time since his return on Jan. 23 against Detroit, playing 17 for the game. It was the most action he had seen since playing 22 on Dec. 15 at Memphis. Middleton finished with nine points on 4-of-9 shooting to go with four assists and three rebounds.

11 Straight games for Pat Connaughton with at least two triples made. He hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter that put the Bucks ahead 70-50.

18 The Bucks’ lead over the Pelicans in the first quarter was 37-19. It’s also the number of points Antetokounmpo scored in just eight minutes, as he made eight of his nine shots. The Bucks would lead by as many as 23 and the Pelicans would cut it to seven, but the first quarter margin proved to be all Milwaukee needed to set up a win.

20-5 The Bucks record at the Fiserv Forum, making them the fourth team overall (Denver, Memphis) and second in the Eastern Conference (Cleveland) with 20 home wins.

69 Antetokounmpo’s all-time position on the free throw list, surpassing Hall of Famer George Gervin.

The game is Khris Middleton’s monster

Khris Middleton has to feel better because not only did he make his first dunk of the season late in the fourth against the Pelicans, but he came off two feet and with authority to put the Bucks up 35-19. He was the exclamation point of a 7-point quarter in which he played just four minutes.

Game video is Giannis’ lob to Brook Lopez

The Bucks got off to a hot offensive start Sunday night against the Pelicans, with Antetokounmpo finding Brook Lopez at the rim for a lob and a nice finish that made it 12-2 in the opening minutes at Fiserv Forum.

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram out for Pelicans

The Pelicans came up short after losing at Washington on Saturday night, with star Brandon Ingram holding out against the Bucks after playing two games back from a 61-day absence with a toe injury. All-Star starter Zion Williamson lost his 14thth straight game with a right hamstring strain.

Point guard CJ McCollum (21.3 points, 5.8 assists) is out with a sprained right thumb. New Orleans will also be without Dyson Daniels (sprained right ankle).

Month:The new NBA MVP trophy is made in Milwaukee

Bucks trade rumor tracker:Does it take a third team for Milwaukee to acquire Jae Crowder?

Bucks injury report

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness), probable
  • MarJon Beauchamp (right patella tendinitis), probable
  • Bobby Portis (sprained right MCL), out
  • Serge Ibaka (not with team), out

Who do the Bucks play next?

The Bucks will play the second of a four-game homestand at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Charlotte at Fiserv Forum. The Hornets are one of the worst teams in the league, but they have a pair of dynamic guards in LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. Gordon Hayward is back and Miles Plumlee has become a sensation after deciding to take left-handed jump shots.

Our subscribers make this report possible. Consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel a

#Giannis #Antetokounmpo #dazzles #points #Bucks #lead #Pelicans

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button