NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo propels Bucks past Pelicans

Field Level Media, Reuters

Posted at Feb 26 2021 02:10 PM

NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo propels Bucks past Pelicans 1
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives for the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Steven Adams (12) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 38 points and 10 rebounds and Khris Middleton added 31 points as the host Milwaukee Bucks held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 129-125, on Thursday night.

Donte DiVincenzo scored a career-high 24 points and Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis scored 12 each as the Bucks won their fourth straight game.

Zion Williamson scored 34, Brandon Ingram had 23, Lonzo Ball scored 20, Eric Bledsoe had 16 and Willy Hernangomez 10 to lead the Pelicans, who defeated the Bucks, 131-126, on Jan. 29 in New Orleans.

Both teams shot 50 percent or better for the game, but Milwaukee outscored New Orleans, 26-22, in the fourth quarter, the only period in which either team scored fewer than 30 points.

Middleton scored seven points as the Bucks scored 10 straight to take a 113-105 lead early in the fourth.

The Pelicans took a 123-120 lead before Antetokounmpo scored six points to help Milwaukee grab a 128-125 advantage with 1:19 left.

New Orleans had a chance to tie with a 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Ingram was called for an offensive foul and Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws.

Milwaukee took a seven-point lead early in the third quarter before New Orleans pulled within one point five times.

The Pelicans finally pulled even at 94 on a 3-pointer by Josh Hart, and Hernangomez followed with consecutive baskets for a four-point lead.

Middleton had a three-point play and added an assist as the Bucks pulled even at 103 at the end of the quarter.

Williamson had four baskets and three assists on New Orleans' first seven field goals, but six Bucks had baskets during the same stretch as Milwaukee took a 22-17 lead.

The Bucks pushed the lead to eight before they settled for a 35-31 edge at the end of the first quarter.

Williamson scored seven points to help the Pelicans pull even at 42 early in the second quarter.

The lead changed hands 10 times in the period, with the last change leaving Milwaukee with a 69-68 halftime lead.

Williamson finished with 24 points for the highest-scoring first half of his two-year career.