Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season as the Milwaukee Bucks beat Washington 112-98 on Tuesday night to hand the Wizards their sixth straight loss.
Jrue Holiday scored 22 points, Bobby Portis 17, Khris Middleton 13 and Grayson Allen 10 for the Bucks. The Bucks squandered a 17-point lead before rallying in the fourth quarter as they rebounded from a 136-100 home loss to the Denver Nuggets, their second most lopsided loss of the season.
“It wasn’t us as a team,” Antetokounmpo said of the Nuggets game. “I can’t remember the last time I lost by 36 in Milwaukee. Obviously it was a little awkward, but at the end of the night those nights are going to come. But we were able to go out (tonight ), play hard and play together, try to set the tone.
“We have to realize that for us to be good, we have to play hard. We can’t expect people to give us the game when we go there,” he said. “People come looking for us. People are chasing us right now. They’re excited when they see, ‘Milwaukee Bucks, world champions.’ We have to play hard every night and develop that habit.
The Wizards were without star guard Bradley Beal due to a sprained left wrist, and announced Monday that he would miss at least the rest of the trip, which ends Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Beal left the team to visit a specialist earlier in the day due to swelling and will be re-evaluated in about a week.
Kyle Kuzma scored 25 goals, Montrezl Harrell scored 20 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 12 for the Wizards.
Washington trailed 20-5 with the game just five minutes away, but clawed its way back and eventually took its first lead on Rui Hachimura’s 3-point tiebreaker with 8:35 left.
Antetokounmpo scored the next five points of the game and put the Bucks back in front by converting a three-point play with 7:50 left.
Harrell made a 12-footer to tie the game with 7:25 remaining, but Holiday sank a 3-pointer 11 seconds later to start a 7-0 Bucks run.
Washington came within 95-94 on straight 3-pointers from Spencer Dinwiddie and Caldwell-Pope, but Kuzma missed a 3-point attempt that would have given the Wizards the lead with 4:33 left.
Milwaukee beat Washington 17-4 the rest of the way.
“I was proud of how we reacted after going down early, but we have to find a way to just tighten both ends of the ball in critical time,” Unseld said.
Antetokounmpo took a hard foul from Harrell as he drove to the basket with 6:10 left. The nature of the fault angered Portis, who expressed his displeasure to the wizards.
Harrell was originally called for a common foul, but was upgraded to a flagrant-1 foul after review. Antetokounmpo made both free throws to extend the Bucks’ lead to 95-88, then Harrell and Antetokounmpo slapped each other in an apparent peace offering before Milwaukee’s ensuing pass.
“I respect all my teammates, but I respect (hell) Bobby for doing this,” Antetokounmpo said. “At the end of the day, we as a team have to set the tone. If somebody is badly fouled, we’re not going to let them, especially in Milwaukee, in our house or even on the road .”
Wizards: Thomas Bryant left the game in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle. … Aaron Holiday, Jrue Holiday’s younger brother, started in place of Beal and scored three in 19 minutes.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in each of his last three triple-doubles. He has 29 career triple-doubles. … George Hill missed a second straight game with neck pain. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he didn’t expect Hill to play Portland on Saturday, the first game of a four-game road trip. “I think he’s going to miss a few games here,” Budenholzer said. “We’re going to have to give him some time and see how he reacts to some treatments, time off.”
Wizards: in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Wizards have shared two home games with the 76ers this season, losing 117-96 on Dec. 26 and winning 117-98 on Jan. 17.
Bucks: At Portland on Saturday.
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