The Milwaukee Bucks proved to be the best team in the East through the first half of the season after knocking off the rival Toronto Raptors 105-92 at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night.
The win gave the Bucks the season series (3-1) and a perfect 2-0 mark in Toronto.
The Bucks led by as many as 24 points in the second half, but the Raptors drew close in the final minutes and got the game to within six points before the Bucks clamped down defensively and pulled away for the 13-point victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo spent much of the game in foul trouble and picked up his fifth foul in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and had to head to the bench. But Khris Middleton and the Bucks played with great composure and made sure Toronto didn’t steal one with Giannis on the bench.
Middleton, who was named an all-star reserve earlier, finished with 18 points and D.J. Wilson came off the bench to score a career high 16 points.
By securing the top record in the East in the first half, Mike Budenholzer and the rest of his coaching staff will coach Team Giannis at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17 in Charlotte. That honor goes to the coaching staff of the team with the best record by Feb. 3, and the Bucks clinched that with the win.
The Bucks travel to Washington to face the Wizards on Saturday night.