109
TF 6
FINAL
End
4th
ESPN
Tue Dec. 25
12:00pm
BONUS
95
TF 8
ML: -492
NY +9.5, O/U 225.5
ML: +380
MIL
NY

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Antetokounmpo powers Bucks past Knicks in Christmas debut

NEW YORK (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo was so eager to make a rim-rocking Christmas debut that he overshot the basket on his first attempt, a dunk from one side that ended with the ball all the way in the opposite corner.

''I was so excited that I went a little bit too high and I thought the rim was a foot taller,'' Antetokounmpo said.

He and the Milwaukee Bucks eventually settled down and showed they belonged on the holiday stage.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 14 rebounds, and Milwaukee celebrated its return to the Christmas schedule by beating the New York Knicks 109-95 on Tuesday.

''This is one of the highest stages,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''Special teams play Christmas Day, and just it's an opportunity for us and we're really happy.''

Brook Lopez scored 20 points for the Bucks, who played on Christmas for the first time since 1977. They were selected for the showcase slate of games largely because of Antetokounmpo but the timing also was perfect to show an emerging team, which improved the NBA's second-best record to 23-10.

Malcolm Brogdon finished with 17 points for the Bucks, the NBA scoring leaders who bounced back from a season-low 87 points in a loss to Miami on Saturday to win for the fifth time in six games.

''People come to see Giannis play but they've got to watch all of us, so it's definitely a great opportunity for the rest of us to showcase as a team what we can do,'' Brogdon said.

Rookie Kevin Knox scored 21 points for the Knicks, who have lost six straight Christmas Day games and fell to 22-31 in their NBA-record 53 appearances on the holiday.

''It's on me to stay even in this whole thing, not be up and down emotionally because I (have) to keep their spirits up,'' Knicks coach David Fizdale said. ''They feel it. They're human.''

New York has lost five in a row and 10 of 11 since rallying to stun the Bucks 136-134 in overtime on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden.

Antetokounmpo was angry that night with Knicks forward Mario Hezonja, who had dunked over him in the first quarter, then stared and stepped over him. Antetokounmpo felt it was disrespectful, vowing to punch Hezonja in the groin next time.

The Greek Freak was perhaps a little too pumped for the rematch - Brogdon grabbed the rebound of his errant dunk in the corner and fired in a 3-pointer - but he quickly got untracked.

It was only a seven-point game midway through the third quarter when Antetokounmpo began to seize control. His jumper followed by layup pushed the lead into double digits, and he scored 11 points in the Bucks' 36-point period that ended with them leading 84-68 cushion.

''We played them really (well) in the first half - down two - in the locker room felt pretty good,'' Knox said. ''But that third quarter, defensively, offensively, just something slips with us.''

Noah Vonleh had 14 points and 15 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr. had 14 points and 10 boards but shot just 4 for 18 for New York.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Antetokounmpo was chosen Eastern Conference player of the week on Monday, the third time this season he's won the award. He was also voted the player of the month in the conference for October-November. ... The Bucks are 3-2 on Christmas.

Knicks: Rookie G Allonzo Trier had eight points in 18 minutes after missing seven games with a strained left hamstring. ... Hezonja didn't play. ... The Knicks haven't won on Christmas since beating Boston in 2011 in what was the NBA season opener following the lockout.

ADVANTAGE, BUCKS?

Both coaches were asked about the idea that a Christmas Day game favored the visiting team, which could treat it as a regular road game while the hosts were at home, perhaps surrounded by family celebrating the holiday.

Milwaukee's Mike Budenholzer dismissed the notion, saying the Bucks brought plenty of family members and had a big team dinner on Christmas Eve so they could mix basketball and the holiday.

Fizdale's thoughts?

''Well, I look at this team, Milwaukee's coming in with an advantage anyway,'' he said with a laugh. ''They're a better team than us right now.''

KNICKS' KNOX

Knox had his third straight 20-point outing. He came in averaging 20.3 points in his previous seven games.

UP NEXT

The teams complete their season series Thursday night at Milwaukee.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
G. Antetokounmpo
34 PF
E. Kanter
00 C
27.3 Min. Per Game 27.3
15.0 Pts. Per Game 15.0
2.0 Ast. Per Game 2.0
11.1 Reb. Per Game 11.1
58.4 Field Goal % 55.4
58.0 Three Point % 55.4
69.8 Free Throw % 84.3
+ 2 Kevin Knox made driving layup 0:17
  D.J. Wilson missed alley-oop shot 0:24
+ 2 Kevin Knox made jump shot, assist by Emmanuel Mudiay 0:39
+ 1 Brook Lopez made free throw 0:51
  Shooting foul on Tim Hardaway Jr. 0:51
  Defensive rebound by D.J. Wilson 1:13
+ 1 Noah Vonleh made 1st of 2 free throws 1:15
  Personal foul on Brook Lopez 1:15
  Emmanuel Mudiay missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:26
  Defensive rebound by Damyean Dotson 1:31
  Sterling Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:33
Team Stats
Points 109 95
Field Goals 40-89 (44.9%) 35-96 (36.5%)
3-Pointers 6-32 (18.8%) 8-28 (28.6%)
Free Throws 23-34 (67.6%) 17-21 (81.0%)
Total Rebounds 61 64
Offensive 6 15
Defensive 44 42
Team 11 7
Assists 22 17
Steals 10 4
Blocks 7 3
Turnovers 8 15
Fouls 19 25
Technicals 0 0
30 PTS, 14 REB, 3 AST
14 PTS, 15 REB
1234T
away team logo Bucks 23-10 22263625109
home team logo Knicks 9-26 2422222795
Team Stats
away team logo Bucks 23-10 117.6 PPG 49.1 RPG 26.5 APG
home team logo Knicks 9-26 107.2 PPG 44.4 RPG 19.9 APG
Key Players
G. Antetokounmpo PF 26.5 PPG 12.6 RPG 5.9 APG 57.8 FG%
K. Knox SF 12.3 PPG 4.2 RPG 0.9 APG 37.8 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Antetokounmpo PF 30 PTS 14 REB 3 AST
K. Knox SF 21 PTS 6 REB 3 AST
44.9 FG% 36.5
18.8 3PT FG% 28.6
67.6 FT% 81.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Antetokounmpo 30 14 3 13/21 0/2 4/7 3 35 4 2 2 2 12 +15 54
B. Lopez 20 4 0 5/10 1/6 9/9 2 29 0 2 1 0 4 +2 25
M. Brogdon 17 6 4 7/14 1/5 2/2 1 26 3 0 2 3 3 +15 32
E. Bledsoe 11 6 5 4/8 0/1 3/4 0 28 1 0 2 0 6 +9 26
K. Middleton 6 6 3 2/12 1/7 1/1 3 29 1 0 1 0 6 +3 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Antetokounmpo 30 14 3 13/21 0/2 4/7 3 35 4 2 2 2 12 +15 54
B. Lopez 20 4 0 5/10 1/6 9/9 2 29 0 2 1 0 4 +2 25
M. Brogdon 17 6 4 7/14 1/5 2/2 1 26 3 0 2 3 3 +15 32
E. Bledsoe 11 6 5 4/8 0/1 3/4 0 28 1 0 2 0 6 +9 26
K. Middleton 6 6 3 2/12 1/7 1/1 3 29 1 0 1 0 6 +3 18
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Maker 12 3 0 5/8 0/2 2/5 1 15 0 2 0 0 3 +11 17
G. Hill 5 3 4 2/4 1/3 0/0 3 27 0 0 0 1 2 +16 16
D. Wilson 5 3 0 1/4 1/2 2/6 4 16 1 0 0 0 3 0 9
S. Brown 3 3 2 1/5 1/2 0/0 2 14 0 0 0 0 3 +1 10
T. Snell 0 2 1 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 14 0 1 0 0 2 +3 5
D. DiVincenzo 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 -5 0
J. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Connaughton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wood - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Duval - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Ilyasova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 109 50 22 40/89 6/32 23/34 19 235 10 7 8 6 44 +70 212
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Knox 21 6 3 8/20 1/5 4/4 4 37 0 0 3 3 3 -7 30
T. Hardaway Jr. 14 10 3 4/18 1/4 5/6 4 33 1 0 2 2 8 -8 29
N. Vonleh 14 15 0 4/8 1/2 5/6 5 33 0 2 0 2 13 -1 31
E. Kanter 12 6 1 4/8 1/2 3/3 2 25 1 0 1 2 4 -10 20
E. Mudiay 11 3 5 5/14 1/4 0/0 2 33 1 0 5 1 2 -3 20
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
K. Knox 21 6 3 8/20 1/5 4/4 4 37 0 0 3 3 3 -7 30
T. Hardaway Jr. 14 10 3 4/18 1/4 5/6 4 33 1 0 2 2 8 -8 29
N. Vonleh 14 15 0 4/8 1/2 5/6 5 33 0 2 0 2 13 -1 31
E. Kanter 12 6 1 4/8 1/2 3/3 2 25 1 0 1 2 4 -10 20
E. Mudiay 11 3 5 5/14 1/4 0/0 2 33 1 0 5 1 2 -3 20
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Kornet 9 3 0 3/6 3/6 0/0 0 13 0 1 0 0 3 -7 13
A. Trier 8 2 0 4/10 0/2 0/2 2 17 0 0 1 0 2 -8 9
L. Thomas 2 4 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 3 12 1 0 2 2 2 -11 5
T. Burke 2 4 2 1/7 0/1 0/0 0 14 0 0 0 2 2 -11 10
D. Dotson 2 4 3 1/2 0/1 0/0 3 19 0 0 1 1 3 -4 11
C. Lee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Hezonja - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Hicks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Porzingis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Ntilikina - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Robinson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 95 57 17 35/96 8/28 17/21 25 236 4 3 15 15 42 -70 178