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Bucks withstand Nets’ rally to sweep season series

Mar 21, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives for the basket between Brooklyn Nets forward Trendon Watford (9) and guard Cameron Thomas (24) in the second quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard had 30 points and 12 assists, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 21 points and nine rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood a fourth-quarter rally to beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 115-108 on Thursday.

Brook Lopez added 17 points for Milwaukee (45-25), which completed a three-game sweep of the season series against Brooklyn (26-44). Malik Beasley scored 16 points and AJ Green had 15 on five 3-pointers.

Brooklyn trailed by as many as 20 late in the first half before cutting the deficit to 81-69 at the end of the third quarter. The Nets opened the fourth quarter on a 21-6 run to move ahead 90-87 with 6:41 remaining in the contest.

Milwaukee regained the lead and held a 103-98 advantage after Antetokounmpo scored with 2:34 left. Mikal Bridges’ trey made it a two-point game before Beasley hit a 3-pointer with 1:37 to play.

Lillard scored the next five points to help Milwaukee secure the win and improve to 28-7 at home.

Bridges led the Nets with 24 points, while Nic Claxton scored 22, Cam Thomas had 21, and Cam Johnson had 17. Brooklyn lost its fifth straight and shot 13 of 44 (29.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Antetokounmpo returned from a two-game absence due to left hamstring tendinopathy and scored nine points in the opening quarter to help give the Bucks a 26-19 lead.

Milwaukee stretched its lead to 53-35 with 2:58 left in the second quarter after Lillard scored eight points during a 14-4 run.

Lopez and Green each made three 3-pointers in the second quarter for the Bucks, who held a 60-44 halftime advantage. Lopez scored 15 points in the half for Milwaukee, while Thomas had 12 to lead the Nets.

Brooklyn battled back and cut the deficit to 71-67 on Bridges’ 3-pointer before the Bucks closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run.

Milwaukee played without forward Khris Middleton, who sat out due to left ankle injury management.

–Field Level Media

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