The Washington Wizards jumped out to a 14-0 lead and led by as many as 21 points in the first half before holding off the Milwaukee Bucks 107-104 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Wizards victory gave them a split in their four-game series with the Bucks. Washington is now 2 1/2 games in front of the sixth-place Bucks after winning their fourth straight road game. Washington is playing without all-star point guard John Wall, but they improved to 8-3 in the 11 games since he underwent knee surgery on January 31.
Bradley Beal scored 21 points, including a clutch 3-pointer and a free thrown down the stretch. Otto Porter Jr. added 17.
The second half was a different story for the Bucks, who climbed to within one-point five separate times down the stretch but couldn’t get over the top.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bucks. Jabari Parker had a season-high 19 points and Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe added 17 in the loss.
The Bucks allowed 40 points in the first quarter, their worst defensive performance in the first quarter this season.
The Bucks (33-26) return to action tonight, traveling to Detroit to face the Pistons (28-32). The Bucks lead the season series 2-1.