NBA: Khris Middleton helps Bucks storm past Magic

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 12 2021 09:56 AM

Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw during the game against the Washington Wizards on March 13, 2021 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. File photo. Stephen Gosling, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Khris Middleton collected 21 points and eight rebounds to lift the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to a 124-87 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Middleton made 8 of 13 shots from the floor in his return from a one-game absence from a sore right knee. 

He wasn't alone, as Jrue Holiday (bruised left knee), Donte DiVincenzo (bruised right hip) and Brook Lopez (sore back) returned after sitting out Milwaukee's 127-119 setback to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Bobby Portis recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds and Holiday added 12 points and seven assists for the Bucks, who snapped a three-game skid despite playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore left knee). 

The two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player sat out his fifth straight game and for the seventh time in the last 12 contests.

Orlando's Mo Bamba highlighted his career-high 21-point performance by shooting 8 of 11 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

Rookie Cole Anthony had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped five in a row and 18 of their last 22 games. Orlando also has lost six straight regular-season games to Milwaukee, including a 121-99 decision on Jan. 11.

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Portis scored eight points to stake the Bucks to a 32-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Milwaukee shot 60 percent from both the floor (12 of 20) and 3-point range (6 of 10) and saw eight different players contribute on the scoreboard.

Bamba made his third 3-pointer to trim the Bucks' advantage to 39-29, however Middleton and Pat Connaughton each scored five points during their team's 14-3 surge to stake the Bucks to a 21-point lead.

Orlando faced a 57-38 deficit at halftime due in large part to its porous 3-point shooting (4 of 20), with everyone outside of Bamba combining to go 1 of 16.

Milwaukee kept the Magic at arm's length in the third quarter before Portis and Sam Merrill each drained a pair of 3-pointers as part of the Bucks' 26-9 run to start the fourth. 

The Bucks, who led 111-76 at the time, put it on cruise control from there.

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