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Nuggets make 24 3-pointers, beat Bucks 134-123

MILWAUKEE (AP) There's something about playing in Milwaukee that brings out the best in Nikola Jokic.

Just over a year after recording the first triple-double of his career at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Jokic wrapped up the feat in the first half on the same floor Thursday night.

Besides Jokic's big night, the Denver Nuggets put together one of the best 3-point shooting nights in league history in a 134-123 victory over the Bucks.

Denver matched a franchise record with 24 3-pointers, one shy of the NBA record, on 40 attempts.

''Each guy kind of had their own little stretch,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''Jamal (Murray) got going in the third quarter, and we rode him and ran some plays for him. Gary Harris had it going, and Nikola shot it well.''

Jokic finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high 17 assists, reaching a triple-double with 1:54 remaining in the second quarter. That was the quickest triple-double in the NBA in the last 20 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

He now has 11 career triple-doubles and five this season, four of which have come since Jan. 27.

''I just started playing well and making shots,'' Jokic said. ''I didn't have any extra motivation or anything like that though. I'm just playing the same way I always play. Maybe I was a little more aggressive tonight, but I'm playing the same.''

Giannis Antetokounmpo also recorded a triple-double, finishing with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists for his ninth career triple-double, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most in Bucks history.

Harris added 28 points and Murray had 26 for the Nuggets, who led by double digits for most of the fourth quarter.

''When you have seven guys make two 3s or more and all starters three or more, you have multiple problems out there,'' Bucks interim coach Joe Prunty said. ''Give them credit for generating open shots. We made some adjustments, but even when we did that they got some pretty good looks.''

Denver scored 74 points in the first half for its second-highest scoring half of the season. The Nuggets had 82 points in the second half of a 146-114 win over New Orleans on Nov. 17.

It also marked the most points allowed by the Bucks in a half this season.

The Nuggets shot 63.6 percent in the first half, including hitting 13 of 19 attempts from beyond the arc. Denver finished at 55.3 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point distance.

''When you have 37 assists and you shoot that well, it's a question of how you make all those shots,'' Malone said. ''We generated great looks.''

Wilson Chandler hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second quarter to put Denver up 38-28. The Bucks answered with a 15-3 run to go up 43-41.

Denver then outscored Milwaukee 33-19 over the final 7:58 of the half.

The Bucks pulled to 83-78 with 5:18 to play in the third quarter, but the Nuggets then used a 12-3 spurt to take control.

''It was just one of those nights where, for some reason, we couldn't get it right,'' Bucks guard Khris Middleton said. ''We kept giving them 3-ball after 3-ball.''

DUELING TRIPLE-DOUBLES

Jokic and Antetokounmpo are the third opposing players to record 30-point triple-doubles in the same game in NBA history, joining Oscar Robertson and Richie Guerin in 1961, and Johnny Kerr and Dave DeBusschere in 1965.

TOUGH ROAD AHEAD

Milwaukee is 9-3 since firing Jason Kidd on Jan. 22, but only one of those victories has come against a team currently in playoff position. That win came against a Philadelphia team playing without Joel Embiid.

The Bucks will open the second half by facing current playoff teams in seven of eight games, with Detroit being the lone exception.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Denver's 13 3-pointers in the first half were their most since Feb. 13, 2017, when they connected on 16 in the first half of a 132-110 win over Golden State. ... G Torrey Craig missed his second consecutive game with groin and hamstring injuries. ... F Kenneth Faried (personal) and G Richard Jefferson (right wrist soreness) were not with the team.

Bucks: C John Henson missed his third consecutive game with right hamstring soreness. Thon Maker started in his place. ... Milwaukee had never allowed more than 19 3-pointers in a game.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host San Antonio on Feb. 23.

Bucks: Visit Toronto on Feb. 23.

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

Key Players
N. Jokic
15 C
G. Antetokounmpo
34 PF
37.0 Min. Per Game 37.0
27.6 Pts. Per Game 27.6
4.7 Ast. Per Game 4.7
10.4 Reb. Per Game 10.4
48.5 Field Goal % 54.0
48.0 Three Point % 53.7
85.0 Free Throw % 75.3
  Bad pass turnover on Sean Kilpatrick, stolen by Jamal Murray 0:21
+ 1 Will Barton made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:36
+ 1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 0:36
  Personal foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo 0:36
  Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray 0:41
  Khris Middleton missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:44
  Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo 0:49
  Gary Harris missed jump shot 0:52
+ 3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 1:14
  Out of bounds turnover on Nikola Jokic 1:23
+ 2 Eric Bledsoe made layup, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 1:40
Team Stats
Points 134 123
Field Goals 47-85 (55.3%) 49-92 (53.3%)
3-Pointers 24-40 (60.0%) 9-26 (34.6%)
Free Throws 16-20 (80.0%) 16-22 (72.7%)
Total Rebounds 43 48
Offensive 8 11
Defensive 26 29
Team 9 8
Assists 37 27
Steals 9 9
Blocks 6 5
Turnovers 18 16
Fouls 23 20
Technicals 1 0
30 PTS, 15 REB, 17 AST
36 PTS, 11 REB, 13 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 32-26 35393327134
home team logo Bucks 32-25 28342635123
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 32-26 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Bucks 32-25 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
Key Players
N. Jokic C 18.5 PPG 10.7 RPG 6.1 APG 50.0 FG%
G. Antetokounmpo PF 26.9 PPG 10.0 RPG 4.8 APG 52.9 FG%
Top Scorers
N. Jokic C 30 PTS 15 REB 17 AST
G. Antetokounmpo PF 36 PTS 11 REB 13 AST
55.3 FG% 53.3
60.0 3PT FG% 34.6
80.0 FT% 72.7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Jokic 33 30 15 17 1 2 8 5 11/14 3/3 5/5 4 11 74 +11
G. Harris 39 28 1 2 1 0 4 4 10/18 5/7 3/5 0 1 30 +13
J. Murray 35 26 5 5 3 0 2 3 9/12 5/7 3/5 3 2 42 +18
W. Barton 39 19 7 5 1 0 1 3 5/13 4/7 5/5 0 7 36 +11
W. Chandler 37 11 4 2 1 1 3 5 4/9 3/5 0/0 0 4 18 -2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Jokic 33 30 15 17 1 2 8 5 11/14 3/3 5/5 4 11 74 +11
G. Harris 39 28 1 2 1 0 4 4 10/18 5/7 3/5 0 1 30 +13
J. Murray 35 26 5 5 3 0 2 3 9/12 5/7 3/5 3 2 42 +18
W. Barton 39 19 7 5 1 0 1 3 5/13 4/7 5/5 0 7 36 +11
W. Chandler 37 11 4 2 1 1 3 5 4/9 3/5 0/0 0 4 18 -2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Lyles 16 12 0 0 1 2 0 2 5/10 2/4 0/0 0 0 15 +1
D. Harris 19 6 1 4 0 0 0 0 2/6 2/5 0/0 0 1 15 +4
J. Hernangomez 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 0 2 0
D. Arthur 11 0 1 2 1 1 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 0 7 +5
M. Beasley 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 -6
P. Millsap - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Faried - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Plumlee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Jefferson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Craig - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 134 34 37 9 6 18 23 47/85 24/40 16/20 8 26 239 +55
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Antetokounmpo 39 36 11 13 0 3 6 2 14/21 1/2 7/12 3 8 70 -3
E. Bledsoe 36 27 3 8 5 0 3 1 9/14 3/6 6/6 1 2 48 -1
K. Middleton 38 17 7 0 2 1 4 4 7/17 1/3 2/3 1 6 23 -8
T. Snell 33 10 1 0 1 0 0 2 4/11 2/6 0/0 0 1 12 -5
T. Maker 17 4 3 3 0 0 0 3 2/6 0/3 0/0 2 1 13 -20
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Antetokounmpo 39 36 11 13 0 3 6 2 14/21 1/2 7/12 3 8 70 -3
E. Bledsoe 36 27 3 8 5 0 3 1 9/14 3/6 6/6 1 2 48 -1
K. Middleton 38 17 7 0 2 1 4 4 7/17 1/3 2/3 1 6 23 -8
T. Snell 33 10 1 0 1 0 0 2 4/11 2/6 0/0 0 1 12 -5
T. Maker 17 4 3 3 0 0 0 3 2/6 0/3 0/0 2 1 13 -20
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Zeller 30 14 5 1 0 1 0 3 7/9 0/0 0/0 2 3 22 +9
J. Parker 16 12 5 0 1 0 1 0 5/8 1/2 1/1 2 3 17 -7
S. Brown 13 3 5 1 0 0 0 0 1/4 1/3 0/0 0 5 10 -7
J. Terry 9 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 2 -7
S. Kilpatrick 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 -2 -6
X. Munford 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
M. Plumlee 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
D. Wilson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
M. Brogdon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Henson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Teletovic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dellavedova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 238 123 40 27 9 5 16 20 49/92 9/26 16/22 11 29 215 -55