The Milwaukee Bucks shook off the first-quarter exit of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Miami Heat 128-99 on Friday and push their NBA winning streak to 13 games.
Antetokounmpo, who started despite concern over a wrist injury he suffered in the Bucks’ final game before the All-Star break, departed late in the first quarter with a right knee injury.
The Bucks, who out-scored the Heat 42-32 in the first to seize control, didn’t miss a beat as Jrue Holiday scored 24 points to lead six Milwaukee players in double figures.
Bobby Portis, back after an 11-game injury absence, added 18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Bucks, who are just half a game behind the Boston Celtics for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
“I thought it was really excellent, the whole group had a good focus coming out of the break, both ends of the court, pushing themselves to be their best,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Budenholzer, who had to call a timeout when Antetokounmpo indicated he was hurt to get his star out of the game, said he didn’t see when the injury occurred.
“I haven’t gotten the full breakdown, but I’m pretty sure that either on a drive or a screen or something like that, that he knocked knees with somebody and just wasn’t able to return,” Budenholzer said, adding that he had no immediate information on the severity of the injury.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 23 points. Bam Adebayo added 18 and Tyler Herro had 14. But Miami connected on just nine of their 40 three-point attempts
The Bucks made 19 three-pointers on the way to their biggest margin of victory this season.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.