NBA: Bucks pound Bulls to sweep season series
Brook Lopez scored a season-high 28 points, Khris Middleton added 19 points and Jrue Holiday had 11 points and 13 assists to lift the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to a 127-106 victory against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Milwaukee (49-30) stopped a two-game losing streak to move into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, 2 ½ games behind the Miami Heat.
Brook is feeling it. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/UiRdcBJbD9
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 6, 2022
Despite the defeat, the Bulls secured their first playoff berth in five seasons when the Cleveland Cavaliers lost at Orlando earlier Tuesday. Chicago (45-34) is assured of a top-six seed in the East and will avoid the conference play-in tournament.
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 40 points for Chicago, reaching the plateau for the fifth time this season while shooting 16-for-26 from the floor. The effort wasn’t enough, however, to offset the Bucks’ 52.9 percent shooting and seven double-figure scorers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee, which led by as many as 24. Bobby Portis had 13 points and nine rebounds, Grayson Allen added 13 points and Wesley Matthews chipped in 11.
Patrick Williams scored 18 points for Chicago, and Coby White was next with 13. Alex Caruso had eight rebounds while Tristan Thompson grabbed seven rebounds for the Bulls, who shot 42.9 percent and were outrebounded 53-46. Zach LaVine missed the game with left knee soreness.
Milwaukee maintained its dominance against the Central Division rival Bulls, sweeping the four-game season series while topping Chicago for the 16th time in the past 17 meetings.
After winning the teams’ first two games by a combined 10 points, the Bucks have rolled past the Bulls by 28 and 21 points, respectively, since March 22.
The Bucks led 58-46 at halftime, as Middleton and Allen sparked a balanced attack with 12 points apiece. Milwaukee shot 54.8 percent compared to 37.7 percent for Chicago, which benefited from DeRozan’s 20 first-half points.
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