NBA: Damian Lillard joins 20,000-point club, Bucks defeat Spurs | Inquirer Sports

NBA: Damian Lillard joins 20,000-point club, Bucks defeat Spurs

/ 11:44 AM December 20, 2023

Damian Lillard Bucks NBA

Milwaukee Bucks’ Damian Lillard gets past San Antonio Spurs’ Tre Jones during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 132-119. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE — Damian Lillard scored a season-high 40 points to push his NBA career total over 20,000, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double and the Milwaukee Bucks trounced San Antonio 132-119 on Tuesday night as the Spurs played without Victor Wembanyama.

Wembanyama sat out the game with a sore right ankle. This was only the second game the 7-foot-3 rookie has missed.

“I don’t think we’re expecting it to be long-term or anything,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game.

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Antetokounmpo had a career-high 16 assists, 14 rebounds and a season-low 11 points for his 37th career triple-double, and second this season. His other triple-double came in a 132-121 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 2.

Lillard increased his career point total to 20,034 and became the 51st person in NBA history — and eighth active player — to reach 20,000 points. Lillard, who was playing his 794th career game, became the 17th-fastest player to reach that milestone.

The other active players with at least 20,000 points are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Chris Paul.

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Milwaukee has gone 5-0 during this season-long, six-game homestand that concludes Thursday against the Orlando Magic. The Bucks have won their last 14 games at Fiserv Forum for their longest home winning streak since reeling off 20 straight victories in Milwaukee from April 19, 1990, to Jan. 8, 1991.

Bobby Portis added 23 points and 10 rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 17 points and Brook Lopez had 14 points and six blocks for the Bucks.

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Keldon Johnson had 28 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, while Zach Collins added 22 points and Devin Vassell had 17.

The Spurs have lost 20 of their last 21 games.

Lillard entered the night with 19,994 points and reached 20,000 by making a layup less than four minutes into the game. Lillard ended up scoring 19 points in the opening period.

After a basket from Collins opened the scoring, the Bucks pulled ahead for good by going on a 21-1 run that ended midway through the first quarter.

San Antonio trailed by 22 early in the second quarter but clawed back and got the margin to single digits when Johnson’s putback made it 74-66 with 10:37 left in the third. The Bucks outscored San Antonio 15-6 over the next 3 ½ minutes and weren’t threatened again.

Portis and San Antonio’s Jeremy Sochan each received technical fouls after getting tangled up early in the fourth quarter.

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Spurs: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Bucks: Host the Magic on Thursday.

TAGS: Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

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