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RECAP: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 30 points power Bucks past Nuggets

Feb 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) battle for the ball in the second quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and nine rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks beat the Denver Nuggets 125-112 on Monday night.

Bryn Forbes had 15 points and Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo scored 13 each for the Bucks, who have won five straight.

Nikola Jokic followed up 50-point performance Saturday with 35 points and 12 rebounds, and Will Barton scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half for the Nuggets.

Paul Millsap had 14 points, Monte Morris scored 12 and Jamal Murray returned from a one-game absence produce 11 points for Denver, which has dropped three straight. Murray shot 4 of 17 from the floor.

The Nuggets led by six early in the third quarter after Michael Porter Jr. hit a 3-pointer, but Milwaukee responded with a big run. Middleton was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws, Forbes drained a 21-footer and Antetokounmpo dunked off a turnover to spark 15 straight points from the Bucks.

Jokic helped Denver get back in it with eight points during a 10-2 run, and then he tied it at 83 with 3:23 left in the third. Antetokounmpo scored seven points in the final 2:08 to give Milwaukee a 93-88 lead heading into the fourth.

The Bucks quickly extended the advantage. Former Nugget Torrey Craig hit a 3-pointer, Bobby Portis made an 11-footer and Middleton drained two more free throws and a jumper as the visitors pushed the lead to 102-92.

Antetokounmpo gave the Bucks a 12-point lead when he banked in a 3-pointer with 5:02 left. Denver scored four straight and had three chances to get within five before Middleton hit a fadeaway jumper to make it 118-108 with 3:03 to go.

Both teams started hot on offense, with the Nuggets going 8-for-12 from 3-point range and scoring 42 points in the first quarter.

The Bucks trailed by as many as seven but rallied to build a five-point lead midway through the second quarter. Denver scored 10 straight points and eventually took a 62-59 lead into halftime.

–Field Level Media