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FutureStarrGiannis Antetokounmpo's Triple-Double Helps Bucks Outlast Wizards 117-111
Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his fourth triple-double of the season against Washington on Saturday, finishing with 33 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.
The win helped the Bucks move closer to Miami for first place in the East, as Jrue Holiday added 19 points and Khris Middleton contributed 13.
Giannis Antetokounmpo's third triple-double of the season helped the Milwaukee Bucks secure a crucial win against Miami Heat on Saturday. He scored 35 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and handed out 11 assists for a 123-115 triumph - Antetokounmpo's 32nd triple-double career; this puts him tied with John Havlicek for 15th on all-time list.
The 25-year-old is one of the NBA's most gifted players and has steadily improved his game since entering the league. His scoring, rebounding and assists have all seen significant improvements this year; additionally he is averaging over one block per game for the first time in his career and leading rebounding in the league for four straight years.
His efforts have also enabled the Bucks to snap their two-month losing streak that began last January. Currently, Milwaukee has won six straight games and sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with an impressive 7-1 record.
The Bucks have scored 80+ points in each of their last six wins and are shooting an impressive 53.6% from the field this season. Furthermore, they've held opponents to under 45% shooting in 27 out of their 31 games thus far this season.
The Bucks have now won three straight games by at least 20 points in the second half, giving them an impressive 9-0 record - their best start of this season.
On Sunday night, the Wizards, who had won four straight games, were without guard Robert Williams III due to a groin injury. James Anderson, who missed his previous two games due to an abdominal strain, came off the bench and scored 16 points in 28 minutes - a season high for him.
After that, however, Washington could never get closer than nine points. With 3:37 remaining and tied 108-108 with Milwaukee leading by one, Jevon Carter made a corner 3-pointer to give Milwaukee the advantage for good. After Beal pulled the Wizards within two points again, Allen hit another trey to extend Milwaukee's advantage again. Holiday then scored the final basket and added two free throws to seal Milwaukee's victory.
Holiday, who missed the first nine games of the season due to persistent soreness and an ankle sprain, is back on track. In five games during Milwaukee's winning streak, Holiday has averaged 11.8 points on 41.4 percent shooting and shot 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. He has made four 3-pointers per game as well as recorded over three steals and a block in each of his last two outings.
Holiday has been scoring in double digits with some help from his defense around him and has emerged as an effective 3rd round per-game player in 9-cat formats. His field goal percentage has slightly improved over the last two weeks and his assists have also grown.
On Tuesday night, with Giannis Antetokounmpo absent against the Toronto Raptors, Jrue Holiday took over as leader of the Milwaukee offense. His 23 points ranked second on the team behind Antetokounmpo, plus he added four rebounds and nine assists. Despite going just 1-of-7 from three-point range, Holiday's shooting and passing were enough to propel Milwaukee to victory against a team with one of NBA's top four defenses.
In addition to Holiday's offensive success, the Bucks experienced an improvement in their defense against the Magic on Wednesday. Entering this game averaging only 86.2 points defensive rating, Washington entered Wednesday having surrendered just 86 points this season - their lowest mark since 2012.
The Bucks took a commanding lead into the halftime break thanks to an 11-0 run that saw Milwaukee outscore Orlando by 19 points. Holiday's strong play throughout the game had been one of the main reasons why Milwaukee was able to hold onto their advantage.
In the opening half, Holiday scored a team-high 16 points to go along with four rebounds and seven assists. He finished with 28 minutes played - a career high.
The Bucks have made an incredible 7-0 start this season, their best start ever. Now they will play two more home games before embarking on a road trip to Philadelphia and Washington where they hope to continue their impressive play against an increasingly tough East schedule.
Jevon Carter put together an impressive 20-point performance in the Bucks' 117-111 win against the Wizards, scoring 10 of his points in the second half and going 6 of 10 from beyond the arc. Additionally, Carter grabbed 10 rebounds and had a season high 13 assists.
Khris Middleton (right knee injury management) was out for the night, forcing Carter into a larger role in the rotation. As such, Carter can provide fantasy value when back-to-back sets are required as he can contribute on both ends of the floor.
Carter's production has been inconsistent throughout the season, yet he remains an integral part of the Bucks' success this year. A great scorer and versatile player in many positions, Carter can contribute to any team's success this year.
He's a reliable defender, though not an elite player or possess the range to start in fantasy leagues. Still, he can contribute significantly to Mike Budenholzer's rotation when needed.
His defensive responsibilities have been limited this year, yet he's still making an impact for Milwaukee. A great three-point shooter and efficient scorer, he has been a key component in their recent run - contributing to six straight victories.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday led the Bucks to victory in a tough matchup, scoring 40 points combined. Additionally, Milwaukee outrebounded Washington 57-46.
The Bucks shot 22 of 49 from beyond the arc, their highest mark of the season. Additionally, they made eight of their final 14 second-chance points - an important statistic as Washington held a 10-point advantage with just under nine minutes left in regulation.
In addition to Antetokounmpo's triple-double, Carter had an outstanding game on defense. He blocked multiple shots and helped limit Washington Wizards' three-point shooting as well.
Carter's blocking played an integral role in keeping the Bucks in the game. He held Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston to single digits, keeping the Warriors from scoring more than 10 points in the opening quarter.
On Sunday night, Grayson Allen had an outstanding game for the Bucks. He scored 27 points and made six 3-pointers to help Milwaukee to a 117-111 victory over Washington in Game 4 of their first-round series.
On Monday night, the Bucks shot 17/37 from three-point range - a season high. They made seven 3-pointers without missing any shots in the first half - tied for most made without missing in a half without misses over 25 seasons.
After a strong start, the Bucks went cold in the second and third. However, Grayson Allen ignited things early in the fourth when he hit two three-pointers on consecutive possessions with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the other end.
On another back-to-back play, Antetokounmpo caught an out of bounds pass in the left corner and ran off a pin-down screen to set up Allen for a dribble handoff that led to a wide open three. This was another key play utilized by Budenholzer to keep Milwaukee's offense moving.
This was Allen's second misdirection dribble handoff this season to score an open three-pointer. A seemingly inconsequential change can provide teams with crucial advantages in the playoffs.
This year, the Bucks have been shooting more 3-pointers, averaging slightly more per drive than they did last season. Furthermore, Allen's assists have increased by four points per 100 drives this season compared to his rookie campaign.
Although his shooting from beyond the arc has improved this year, Allen still has much to learn and perfect. If he can continue to develop in this area, Milwaukee may have a chance of coming out on top when they face off against teams like Washington again in the playoffs.
Grayson Allen's 7-of-8 shooting from the field in Sunday's game is an encouraging sign for his future with the Bucks. He's averaging career highs in points and assists while shooting over 45 percent from deep this season, giving him plenty of potential to continue collecting steals and blocks as he becomes more effective defensively during his sophomore campaign.