February 26, 2024

NBA

“I do not assume anyone assumed that the thin child from Greece that was drafted and imagined to play within the G-League can be in place to interrupt Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s file.”

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo pauses earlier than an NBA basketball recreation in opposition to the Houston Rockets, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Milwaukee. AP Photograph/Aaron Gash Aaron Gash/AP Photograph

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 factors and 17 rebounds, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to change into the Bucks‘ profession rebounding chief, and Damian Lillard scored 39 factors in Milwaukee’s 128-119 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday evening.


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Antetokounmpo’s highest rebounding complete of the season allowed him to move Abdul-Jabbar after he had moved previous the Corridor of Famer for the group’s scoring file in the course of the 2021-22 season. He’s additionally the Bucks’ profession chief in assists, becoming a member of Michael Jordan (Chicago), LeBron James (Cleveland) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota) as the one gamers to guide a franchise in all three classes.

“It’s a giant praise,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “I don’t assume anyone assumed that the thin child from Greece that was drafted and imagined to play within the G-League can be in place to interrupt Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s file. I do know for positive there’s going to be somebody who’s going to return alongside in time and break the entire data that Kareem set, Oscar Robertson, Marques Johnson, myself, Khris (Middleton).”

The Bucks gained their thirteenth straight dwelling recreation and improved to 14-1 at dwelling whereas snapping the Rockets’ five-game successful streak. Houston (13-10) dropped to 2-9 on the street.

Middleton scored 14 of his 20 factors within the fourth quarter because the Bucks lastly pulled away. Middleton sank a 3-pointer to offer the Bucks a 112-106 lead with 5:26 left, and a three-point play by Antetokounmpo made it 118-111 with 3:44 remaining.

“Khris does this on a regular basis, the place he simply settles us down the place we’d like a basket and he goes and will get us a bucket,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin mentioned. “Generally he scores and generally it’s an help, however the fourth quarter is often when Khris is at his greatest.”

Brook Lopez added 18 factors for the Bucks (19-7) and Bobby Portis had 11 off the bench.

Middleton, who joined the Bucks in a commerce in 2013, the identical yr Antetokounmpo was drafted, laughed when requested if he thought then that his teammate would have all these franchise marks.

“Hell, no,” Middleton mentioned. “It’s nice. Now he’s obtained every little thing, aside from the 3-ball. He hates when folks say that. Nevertheless it simply exhibits his self-discipline every single day, how significantly he takes his craft and the way he’s by no means happy about what he’s doing on the market.”

Dillon Brooks was ejected after being referred to as for flopping and choosing up two technical fouls with 38 seconds left, and Rockets coach Ime Udoka additionally was whistled for 2 technicals after popping out on the court docket. Lillard made 3 of 4 free throws after the techs to tie his season-high scoring complete. He additionally had 11 assists and 5 rebounds in 37 minutes.

The Bucks gained the second of a back-to-back set and improved to 9-0 when Lillard scores 30 or extra factors.

“In my head I used to be like, someday in December I’ll begin to really feel higher,” Lillard mentioned, “although I knew it was a course of being on a brand new group and every little thing.”

Fred VanVleet led the Rockets with 22 factors and heart Alperen Sengun had 20. Brooks added 18 and Jabari Smith Jr. and Jalen Inexperienced every scored 16.

Antetokounmpo broke Abdul-Jabbar’s file with a rebound of Tari Eason’s missed shot with 7:46 left within the fourth quarter. It was his 14th rebound of the sport and he added three extra to offer him 17,165 rebounds in his eleventh season with Milwaukee.

The Bucks confirmed a video of his profession rebounding highlights on the subsequent timeout and Antetokounmpo acquired an enormous ovation from the Fiserv Discussion board crowd.

Brooks had a basket taken away on a evaluation when it was decided he dedicated an offensive foul, utilizing his proper elbow to inadvertently strike Pat Connaughton within the face.

The Bucks led by as many as 14 factors late within the third quarter earlier than Jeff Inexperienced sank a 3-pointer and two free throws, reducing the Rockets’ deficit to 100-91 coming into the ultimate interval.

Lillard obtained off to a quick begin, scoring 15 factors and including 5 assists within the first quarter because the Bucks jumped out to a 33-28 lead. Lillard was 5 for six from the sector and a pair of of three from 3-point vary.

Rookie guard Andre Jackson gave the Bucks a lift halfway by way of the second quarter, tipping in a miss and scoring on a fast-break layup on consecutive possessions as Milwaukee took a 52-43 lead. He later added a nook 3-pointer and completed with 9 factors within the half.

Milwaukee led 71-60 at halftime regardless of permitting 58.5% taking pictures by the Rockets. Lillard had 20 factors and Antetokounmpo added 17 factors and eight rebounds.

The Bucks performed with out guard Malik Beasley, who missed his second straight recreation with a non-Covid sickness.

Up subsequent

Bucks: Host San Antonio on Tuesday.

Rockets: At Cleveland on Monday.