Giannis Antetokounmpo hits 42 points in Bucks’ win over Pelicans
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 42 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks gave the New Orleans Pelicans their season-worst fourth consecutive loss, 128-119 on Monday night.
Brook Lopez added 30 points, former Pelican Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 11 assists and Pat Connaughton scored 11. The Bucks shot 55.6 percent (45 of 81) from the floor.
Jonas Valanciunas had a season-high 37 points and 18 rebounds, CJ McCollum scored 31, Zion Williamson had 18 and Trey Murphy III 13 for the Pelicans, whose losing streak comes on the heels of a seven-game winning streak.
Lopez made three 3-pointers and added a 2-pointer as the Bucks increased their five-point halftime lead to nine points midway through the third quarter.
They expanded the lead to 15 before taking a 100-90 lead at the end of the period.
Antetokounmpo scored seven points in the first minute and a half of the fourth quarter as Milwaukee opened a 107-92 lead.
Bucks begin their longest road trip of the season with a convincing win in New Orleans. pic.twitter.com/jIIIqYnS7r
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 20, 2022
Williamson scored eight points and assisted on a basket by McCollum as New Orleans crept within three with 1:32 remaining.
But Holiday made a 3-pointer, rebounded a Pelicans miss and fed Lopez for a layup and an eight-point lead with 1:02 remaining.
Valanciunas scored the Pelicans’ first 15 points and Murphy became his first teammate to score, making two free throws for a 17-14 lead.
The Bucks went on a 16-5 run and Connaughton’s 3-pointer gave them an eight-point lead, their biggest of the quarter.
McCollum made a layup and Dyson Daniels hit a 3-pointer to pull New Orleans within 30-27 at the end of the period.
Milwaukee scored the first eight points of the second quarter before Williamson made consecutive baskets for his first four points.
Valanciunas made three 3-pointers in a span of 1:20 and McCollum added a 3-pointer to get New Orleans within two points.
Antetokounmpo answered with consecutive dunks to help the Bucks increase the lead to 66-61 at halftime. He finished the half with 26 points, two fewer than Valanciunas.