Giannis Antetokounmpo reached the 50-point mark for the third time since the start of January, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a comeback 106-105 win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
Antetokounmpo shot 21-for-39 from the floor and grabbed 19 boards. Khris Middleton added 16 points off the bench for Milwaukee despite sitting out a majority of the fourth quarter. Newly named All-Star Jrue Holiday scored 12 points and dished out eight assists.
Giannis dropped 54 PTS and 18 REB tonight in the Bucks W.
— NBA (@NBA) February 3, 2023
Norman Powell led the way for Los Angeles, scoring 26 points off the bench on 9-for-16 shooting. Kawhi Leonard added 17 with 11 boards and both Paul George and Marcus Morris Sr. added 16 points. Ivica Zubac contributed 12 points and 13 rebounds.
It was the second consecutive game in which Powell scored at least 26 in a reserve role.
Milwaukee got off to a slow start, scoring just 15 points and trailing by nine after the first quarter — two more than its previous low point total for a single quarter this season. However, the Bucks went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter and eventually turned that into a 16-1 run to tie the game at 25 in the second quarter.
Still, the Bucks trailed by as many as 21 points in the third quarter. But they were able to cut the deficit down to single digits before the end of the quarter, and Antetokounmpo took over in the fourth, scoring 20 in the final frame to close it out.
Despite his play, Antetokounmpo nearly cost Milwaukee the lead in the final seconds. The star threw the ball out of bounds with 15 seconds to go with the Bucks up by one, giving Los Angeles another chance. But Leonard’s would-be game-winning jumper at the buzzer was an airball.
The Bucks, who earned their sixth win in a row, will host the Miami Heat on Saturday night to close their four-game homestand. The Clippers, who lost for the second time in three games, continue their Eastern Conference road trip with a game against the New York Knicks on Saturday night.