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Antetokounmpo scores 32, Bucks hold off Wolves 106-104

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks were happy to get another win though they know they didn’t play up to their standards.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 17 rebounds, and the Bucks held off a strong challenge from short-handed Minnesota in a 106-104 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

"Not paying our best but still finding a way to win is good," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "But this isn't the formula."

Antetokounmpo got his 30th double-double in 33 games this season and Khris Middleton added 13 points despite shooting 5 for 18 as league-best Milwaukee hit just 42.6% of its shots overall and only 9 of 36 from 3-point range. Brook Lopez scored 11 points and Eric Bledsoe had 10.

"We missed a lot of good shots and came out a little slow," Middleton said.

Shabazz Napier had 22 points to lead Minnesota, and Gorgui Deng scored 15, Josh Okogie added 12 and Jarret Culver 10.

Minnesota was playing without its two best players as Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague sat with knee injuries. The Timberwolves were also missing Treveon Graham and Andrew Wiggins, who were battling flu-like symptoms.

"That presented a lot of opportunities for a lot of guys and I thought a lot of guys stepped up," Napier said.

Napier, starting in place of Teague, scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but then had just seven after the break.

Milwaukee slumped out of the gate. The Bucks had just four points through the first six minutes and didn't take a lead until Lopez converted a three-point play to make it 31-29 with 8:41 left in the second quarter.

They went into halftime with a 52-51 lead despite shooting 34% from the floor. Minnesota connected at a 41.7% clip but made only 3 of 14 3-pointers while the Bucks knocked down 8 of 26 from beyond the arc.

A 15-6 run capped off by Antetokounmpo’s 3 out of halftime put the Bucks ahead by 10 and they took a 77-71 lead into the fourth.

Culver's driving dunk over Lopez got the Timberwolves within a basket with 9:38 to play but he was called for a technical foul on the play that ultimately set up Kyle Korver’s 3 to put the Bucks back up by six, 87-81 with 8:45 remaining.

Minnesota responded with five straight points to pull within one but Antetokounmpo's driving layup and Middleton’s 3 snuffed out the rally.

The Timberwolves mounted one last challenge in the closing minute as Dieng hit the first of two free throws to make it 1006-104 with 46.2 seconds left. Robert Covington grabbed Pat Connaughton's missed layup, giving Minnesota the ball with 21 seconds left but after the Timberwolves used their last timeout, Dieng missed a 19-footer with 3 seconds remaining.

"We were hoping to get Shabazz on a quick catch and go or we liked going for a win with (Covington) getting to the corner," Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said. "There is a reason they are arguably the best defense team in the league too, they blew it up."

BUILDING UP BLEDSOE

Bledsoe played 20 minutes in his second game back after missing two weeks with a leg injury. And while he shot only 4 for 10 shots, he also added 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots.

"That is what (Bledsoe) does," Middleton said. "His speed, his pace, we call him big car, just how big and strong he is. For us to play well, we are going to need him out there."

BIG NIGHT FOR NAPIER

Napier hit the 20-point mark for the second time this season. The veteran point guard came into the contest averaging 8.1 points on 34.5 percent shooting in 19 games this season but knocked down 7 of 13 shots against the Bucks including 4 of 7 from distance while adding six rebounds three assists and a blocked shot in 31 minutes.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns worked out before the game with a sleeve on his injured left leg but still doesn’t have a timetable to return. ... Towns has missed the last eight games.

Bucks: SG Wesley Matthews sat out for a second straight game because of a bruised right thigh but Budenholzer said he expected Matthews to be fine and available possibly as early as this weekend.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Return home to face Golden State on Thursday night.

Bucks: Host San Antonio on Saturday night before heading out on a four-game West Coast swing next week.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:43   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed hook shot  
11:41   Defensive rebound by Jarrett Culver  
11:26   Gorgui Dieng missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:25   MIN team rebound  
11:14 +2 Shabazz Napier made jump shot 2-0
11:02   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed driving layup  
11:00   Defensive rebound by Kelan Martin  
10:51   Bad pass turnover on Gorgui Dieng, stolen by Khris Middleton  
10:46   Eric Bledsoe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:42   Defensive rebound by Kelan Martin  
10:26 +3 Shabazz Napier made 3-pt. jump shot 5-0
10:09   Khris Middleton missed jump shot, blocked by Jarrett Culver  
10:07   Defensive rebound by Robert Covington  
9:50 +2 Robert Covington made reverse layup, assist by Shabazz Napier 7-0
9:31   Traveling violation turnover on Brook Lopez  
9:20   Shabazz Napier missed finger-roll layup, blocked by Brook Lopez  
9:18   Defensive rebound by Brook Lopez  
9:11   Brook Lopez missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:06   Defensive rebound by Jarrett Culver  
8:55   Traveling violation turnover on Jarrett Culver  
8:42   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed floating jump shot  
8:40   Defensive rebound by Shabazz Napier  
8:33   Kelan Martin missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:31   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
8:26 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk, assist by Donte DiVincenzo 7-2
8:06   Bad pass turnover on Shabazz Napier, stolen by Brook Lopez  
8:00   Khris Middleton missed layup  
7:57   Defensive rebound by Kelan Martin  
7:46   Gorgui Dieng missed running Jump Shot, blocked by Brook Lopez  
7:44   Offensive rebound by Gorgui Dieng  
7:43   Gorgui Dieng missed hook shot  
7:43   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
7:25   Khris Middleton missed turnaround jump shot  
7:24   Offensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
7:24   Personal foul on Robert Covington  
7:17   Offensive foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
7:17   Turnover on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
6:57 +2 Josh Okogie made floating jump shot, assist by Robert Covington 9-2
6:49   Pat Connaughton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:46   Defensive rebound by Gorgui Dieng  
6:36   Shooting foul on Donte DiVincenzo  
6:36 +1 Shabazz Napier made 1st of 2 free throws 10-2
6:36 +1 Shabazz Napier made 2nd of 2 free throws 11-2
6:25 +2 Brook Lopez made jump shot, assist by Pat Connaughton 11-4
6:05 +2 Shabazz Napier made driving layup 13-4
5:53 +2 Donte DiVincenzo made finger-roll layup, assist by Ersan Ilyasova 13-6
5:32   Jumpball  
5:27   Naz Reid missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:23   Defensive rebound by Pat Connaughton  
5:20   Lost ball turnover on Pat Connaughton, stolen by Josh Okogie  
5:18   Traveling violation turnover on Kelan Martin  
5:06   Brook Lopez missed layup, blocked by Kelan Martin  
5:01   Offensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
5:00 +2 Khris Middleton made dunk 13-8
4:52   Kelan Martin missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:49   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
4:33   Ersan Ilyasova missed layup  
4:31   Defensive rebound by Josh Okogie  
4:28 +2 Shabazz Napier made layup 15-8
4:28   Shooting foul on Khris Middleton  
4:28 +1 Shabazz Napier made free throw 16-8
4:11 +2 Robin Lopez made hook shot 16-10
4:02   Naz Reid missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:58   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
3:50 +2 Robin Lopez made hook shot 16-12
3:50   Shooting foul on Naz Reid  
3:50   Robin Lopez missed free throw  
3:47   Defensive rebound by Robert Covington  
3:36   Keita Bates-Diop missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:31   Defensive rebound by Robin Lopez  
3:21   Personal foul on Robert Covington  
3:14   George Hill missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:12   Defensive rebound by Shabazz Napier  
3:07   Josh Okogie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:04   Defensive rebound by Kyle Korver  
2:52 +2 Pat Connaughton made layup, assist by Kyle Korver 16-14
2:39 +2 Jordan Bell made alley-oop shot, assist by Jarrett Culver 18-14
2:23 +2 Ersan Ilyasova made layup, assist by George Hill 18-16
2:23   Shooting foul on Naz Reid  
2:23 +1 Ersan Ilyasova made free throw 18-17
2:12   Jarrett Culver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:09   Defensive rebound by Pat Connaughton  
1:46   George Hill missed floating jump shot  
1:42   Defensive rebound by Jarrett Culver  
1:36 +2 Naz Reid made layup, assist by Jordan Bell 20-17
1:23   Kyle Korver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:20   Defensive rebound by Keita Bates-Diop  
1:16   Shooting foul on Pat Connaughton  
1:16 +1 Keita Bates-Diop made 1st of 2 free throws 21-17
1:16 +1 Keita Bates-Diop made 2nd of 2 free throws 22-17
1:03 +2 George Hill made floating jump shot 22-19
0:54   Personal foul on Kyle Korver  
0:54   Josh Okogie missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:54   MIN team rebound  
0:54 +1 Josh Okogie made 2nd of 2 free throws 23-19
0:34   Lost ball turnover on Eric Bledsoe, stolen by Josh Okogie  
0:14   Jarrett Culver missed turnaround jump shot  
0:11   Offensive rebound by Gorgui Dieng  
0:13   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
0:00   Ersan Ilyasova missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Defensive rebound by Jordan Bell  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:46 +3 Keita Bates-Diop made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jarrett Culver 26-19
11:35   Eric Bledsoe missed finger-roll layup  
11:33   Defensive rebound by Jordan Bell  
11:20   Out of bounds turnover on Jaylen Nowell  
11:00 +2 Brook Lopez made floating jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 26-21
10:45   Jarrett Culver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:41   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
10:39 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made layup 26-23
10:39   Shooting foul on Gorgui Dieng  
10:39   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed free throw  
10:36   Defensive rebound by Keita Bates-Diop  
10:26   Jarrett Culver missed driving layup, blocked by Eric Bledsoe  
10:26   MIN team rebound  
10:14   Gorgui Dieng missed jump shot  
10:14   MIN team rebound  
10:06 +3 Keita Bates-Diop made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Gorgui Dieng 29-23
9:52   Brook Lopez missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:50   Defensive rebound by Jarrett Culver  
9:43   Gorgui Dieng missed layup, blocked by Brook Lopez  
9:40   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
9:39 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made layup, assist by Khris Middleton 29-25
9:39   Shooting foul on Jarrett Culver  
9:39 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made free throw 29-26
9:26   Jaylen Nowell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:24   Defensive rebound by Brook Lopez  
9:14 +2 Donte DiVincenzo made reverse layup, assist by Brook Lopez 29-28
8:52   Jarrett Culver missed driving layup  
8:49   Offensive rebound by Gorgui Dieng  
8:49   Gorgui Dieng missed dunk  
8:48   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
8:47 +2 Brook Lopez made layup, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 29-30
8:47   Shooting foul on Jaylen Nowell  
8:47 +1 Brook Lopez made free throw 29-31
8:33   Keita Bates-Diop missed layup, blocked by Brook Lopez  
8:30   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
8:29   Out of bounds turnover on Khris Middleton  
8:18 +2 Jaylen Nowell made floating jump shot 31-31
8:05 +3 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brook Lopez 31-34
7:46 +3 Gorgui Dieng made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jarrett Culver 34-34
7:32   Donte DiVincenzo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:30   Defensive rebound by Gorgui Dieng  
7:16   Jaylen Nowell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:13   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
7:11   Personal foul on Jarrett Culver  
7:07   Brook Lopez missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:05   Defensive rebound by Shabazz Napier  
7:01   Jaylen Nowell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:57   Defensive rebound by Pat Connaughton  
6:46   Khris Middleton missed layup, blocked by Gorgui Dieng  
6:43   Defensive rebound by Robert Covington  
6:42   Lost ball turnover on Robert Covington, stolen by Khris Middleton  
6:31 +3 Khris Middleton made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ersan Ilyasova 34-37
6:26 +3 Gorgui Dieng made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Shabazz Napier 37-37
6:08 +2 Khris Middleton made jump shot 37-39
5:57   Jaylen Nowell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:53   Offensive rebound by Jaylen Nowell  
5:46   Gorgui Dieng missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:44   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
5:33   Personal foul on Shabazz Napier  
5:33 +1 Ersan Ilyasova made 1st of 2 free throws 37-40
5:33 +1 Ersan Ilyasova made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-41
5:18   Shooting foul on Brook Lopez  
5:18 +1 Josh Okogie made 1st of 2 free throws 38-41
5:18 +1 Josh Okogie made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-41
5:12   Personal foul on Shabazz Napier  
5:12 +1 Donte DiVincenzo made 1st of 2 free throws 39-42
5:12 +1 Donte DiVincenzo made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-43
5:02   Personal foul on Pat Connaughton  
4:55 +3 Naz Reid made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Robert Covington 42-43
4:44   Pat Connaughton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:43   Offensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
4:40   Ersan Ilyasova missed jump shot, blocked by Robert Covington  
4:37   Defensive rebound by Shabazz Napier  
4:30 +3 Kelan Martin made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Josh Okogie 45-43
4:16   Robin Lopez missed hook shot  
4:10   Defensive rebound by Robert Covington  
4:04   Kelan Martin missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:00   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
3:47   George Hill missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:42   Defensive rebound by Josh Okogie  
3:24   Kelan Martin missed driving layup, blocked by Ersan Ilyasova  
3:24   MIN team rebound  
3:22   Naz Reid missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:18   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
3:12 +3 Robin Lopez made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ersan Ilyasova 45-46
3:00   Shooting foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
3:00 +1 Naz Reid made 1st of 2 free throws 46-46
3:00   Naz Reid missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
2:58   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
2:36 +2 Eric Bledsoe made floating jump shot 46-48
2:28 +3 Shabazz Napier made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kelan Martin 49-48
2:18   Lost ball turnover on Eric Bledsoe, stolen by Robert Covington  
2:07   Shabazz Napier missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:03   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
2:00   Eric Bledsoe missed driving layup, blocked by Kelan Martin  
2:00   Defensive rebound by Naz Reid  
1:58   Out of bounds turnover on Naz Reid  
1:49   Eric Bledsoe missed jump shot, blocked by Shabazz Napier  
1:48   Defensive rebound by Jarrett Culver  
1:39   Josh Okogie missed layup  
1:44   Defensive rebound by Pat Connaughton  
1:39   Shooting foul on Gorgui Dieng  
1:39 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 49-49
1:39   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:35   Offensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
1:27   Shooting foul on Josh Okogie  
1:27   George Hill missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:27   MIL team rebound  
1:27 +1 George Hill made 2nd of 2 free throws 49-50
1:11   Shooting foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
1:11 +1 Gorgui Dieng made 1st of 2 free throws 50-50
1:11 +1 Gorgui Dieng made 2nd of 2 free throws 51-50
0:51   Khris Middleton missed floating jump shot  
0:49   Defensive rebound by Shabazz Napier  
0:30   Josh Okogie missed jump shot, blocked by Eric Bledsoe  
0:29   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
0:16   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed hook shot  
0:15   Offensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
0:14 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk 51-52
0:00   Jarrett Culver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   MIN team rebound  
0:00   End of period