With Giannis Antetokounmpo rolling, Bucks look to drop Magic again

NBA Basketball

Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to record 20 points and 15 rebounds for the third straight game as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

The two-time MVP eclipsed both marks against Oklahoma City on Friday and Orlando on Saturday after posting a season-high 47 points against the Lakers earlier in the week.

The Bucks find themselves on a three-game win streak after beating the Magic 117-108 in game one of a two-game series in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points and 20 assists, and Bobby Portis poured in 24 points, 15 rebounds and went 6-for-7 (85.7 percent) from the beyond the arc. Grayson Allen added 16 points, and all five starters finished with point totals in double figures.

“To rebound and to do everything he does, it’s what we need,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said about Antetokounmpo. “Bobby the same. I feel like some guards are going and getting tough rebounds and helping and we’ve been better, and we just got to stay on top of that.”

Brook Lopez continues to be sidelined with a back injury and has yet to appear in a game this season. Donte DiVincenzo also remains out with an ankle injury, although he did go through an on-court workout before Milwaukee’s game against the Hawks on Nov. 14 according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

After shooting under 35 percent from 3-point range in their previous four games, the Bucks got back on track against Orlando, going 19-of-40 (47.5 percent) from deep. It was their second-best performance from long range this season.

Despite losing on Saturday, the Magic nearly came back from a 29-point deficit, outscoring Milwaukee 37-21 in the fourth quarter. Reserve R.J. Hampton led the way in the contest with 19 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Jalen Suggs contributed 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Chuma Okeke and Mychal Mulder each chipped in 13 points off the bench.

“From 29 down, to keep fighting, that’s what that group is about,” Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley said. “They stayed ready, they worked on days off when they’re not playing games, but they showed that they were willing to come out there and fight.”

Orlando has now dropped five of its last six games and is 3-7 on the road this season.

Cole Anthony missed the first game against the Bucks due to a right ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day. The second-year guard has broken out this season, averaging 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists through 16 games. Michael Carter-Williams and E’Twaun Moore were also out, and Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz remain without timetables to return.

The Magic have been struggling defensively, allowing at least 115 points in three of their last four games. Orlando has also been running into some foul trouble, averaging 23.8 fouls per game throughout that span.

With a chance to get revenge against Milwaukee on Monday, Mosley is looking for a higher level of defensive intensity.

“Their intensity, their level of play, we have to match that,” Mosley said. “It comes down to defending without fouling, showing our hands and showing crowds early.”

–Field Level Media

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