The Milwaukee Bucks hit just one of their first nine shots in the paint and got nothing from distance as the offense struggled early. Fortunately, New Orleans hit just 2 of 16 from distance in the opening quarter and 10 of 47 (21.3 percent) for the game. The result was a 130-113 Bucks victory over the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Tuesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points and Khris Middleton added 23 points to lead the Bucks to their NBA leading 51st victory and a three-game lead over Toronto for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks got their offense rolling in the second half. Malcolm Brogdon had 13 of his 18 points in the quarter and Khris Middleton had 10 of his 23 as the Bucks put 45 points on the board. Unfortunately, they didn’t do much on the defensive end as the Pelicans kept pace with a 41 point quarter of their own.
New Orleans pulled to within seven points in the fourth quarter before the Bucks pulled away. Giannis had 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to lead the charge.
Nikola Mirotic, in his return to New Orleans chipped in with 14 points off the bench for the Bucks.
The Bucks are off until Friday when they wrap up their three-game road trip in Miami against the Heat.