The Bucks dominate Magic 123-92 for their fourth straight win
Milwaukee – Jrue Holiday scored 18 points and the Milwaukee Bucks opened the biggest first-half lead in franchise history en route to a 123-92 Orlando Magic blast Monday night.
The Bucks’ 77-36 lead at the break was Orlando’s biggest first-half deficit ever.
Prior to Monday, Milwaukee’s biggest first-half lead was 78-40 over Detroit on December 26, 1978. The Bucks won that game 143-84.
Milwaukee won their fourth consecutive unbeaten game this season in which the top three players – Giannis Antetokounmue, Khris Middleton and Holiday – were all in the lineup.
“Obviously we miss Brock (Lopez) and Donte (Defincenzo), but even so, having most of the guys here just gives us the confidence to go in there and play and play our game and play our brand of basketball,” Bucks striker Bobby Portez said. “I think our team is getting better one game after another.”
The Bucks eventually built the margin to 51, becoming the first team to lead a game by at least 50 points this season. The biggest advance of the season entered on Monday was 45, by Minnesota in a 138-95 win over Memphis on Saturday.
Milwaukee beat Orlando for the second time in three nights. The Bucks won 117-108 on Saturday.
“It’s good to be playing with a team again and to have that look and feel,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our guys played really well tonight, and they were executed on both sides, including going out in the third quarter. Lots of good things tonight for us.”
Orlando played both games without top scorer Cole Anthony, who twisted his right ankle. Magic coach Jamal Mosley hasn’t been final about when Anthony will return.
“There is no timetable yet,” Mosley said before the match. “We will continue to see how he progresses while he goes through rehab.”
Milwaukee’s Pat Connaughton scored 17 and scored 5 of 7 from a 3-point range. Antetokounmo scored 12 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in just 24 minutes.
Grayson Allen and Jordan Nora each added 14 points for the Bucks. Portis scored 13 points and earned 11 rebounds, and Middleton scored 12 points.
Moritz Wagner led the Orlando team with 18 points. The Magic also earned 14 from RJ Hampton, 13 each from Robin Lopez and Mychal Mulder and 12 each from Chuma Okeke.
“Give all the money credit for the way they played,” Mosley said. “They are the world champions for a reason. They take the pressure off. This is a great measuring tool to help us understand the things we need to do to keep growing, keep improving, and keep developing.”
The lights went out at the Fiserv Forum before the game, as a moment of silence was observed for the people killed or injured when an SUV crashed into a Christmas parade on Sunday in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha.
At least five people were killed and 48 wounded. Police said they have filed five counts of premeditated murder against Daryl Brooks Jr., 39, of Milwaukee.
Magic: Mulder scored 13 points in each of those two games in Milwaukee. Prior to those two games, he scored only three points all season.
Bucks: Half of Ojeleye missed a second game in a row with a right calf injury. Budenholzer did not provide a timetable but said “there is a significant calf injury or situation”. “It’s going to waste some time,” Budenholzer added. … Antetokounmpo was named Eastern Conference Player of the Year on Monday. He averaged 33.3 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.7 steel in three games.
Magic: He hosted Charlotte on Wednesday. The Magic lost at home to the Hornets 120-111 on October 27.
Bucks: Host Detroit on Wednesday to end a five-game Homestand game. The Bucks have won their last 11 regular season games with the Pistons, including 117-89 in Detroit on November 2.
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