DAL
MIL

No Text

Middleton's clutch shooting lifts Bucks over Mavs 109-102

MILWAUKEE (AP) All Khris Middleton needed to get going on offense was to create a little space.

Once Middleton's first couple shots started falling, he was tough to stop , especially in front of a friendly crowd in a tight game in the fourth quarter.

Middleton scored 12 of his 31 points in the final 4:38, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 109-102 win over the last-place Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

''Just got into a rhythm really. I was able to create a little space, was able to catch and shoot 3s ... find a rhythm, find an open shot,'' Middleton said.

Middleton finished 10 of 18 from the field, including 5 of 6 in the fourth. The 6-foot-8 forward is a tough matchup because of his length and shooting ability, especially when paired with the athletic Antetokounmpo in the frontcourt.

Eric Bledsoe added 24 points for the Bucks, who erased an 11-point deficit late in the third quarter to pick up their fifth win in six games.

The Bucks then turned up the defensive pressure during a chippy final few minutes, highlighted by Middleton's four-point play sandwiched between two Dallas turnovers.

''A lot of his points down the stretch came off situations where we weren't executing well offensively and gave them some downhill momentum,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.

But the worst team in the Western Conference didn't wither on the road against an East contender. The Mavericks played the Bucks tough until the end, as they did in a loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

Wesley Matthews had a season-high 29 points to lead Dallas. He scored 15 in the first half on 6 of 7 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, to give the Mavericks a 54-49 lead going into the locker room.

Shooting 6 of 13 (46 percent) from beyond the arc in the half, the Mavs tried to follow a formula similar to their 32-point win over Milwaukee on Nov. 18, when they shot 19 of 38 (50 percent) from 3-point range.

This time, the Bucks answered with clutch jumpers and improved defense.

They used a 12-0 late in the third quarter sparked by two 3s from Middleton and the playmaking ability of Malcolm Brogdon to take a 77-76 lead after looking lethargic for much of the game.

''In that first half we kind of fell into the trap of them walking the ball up and kind of were just going through the motions,'' coach Jason Kidd said.

BACK IN TOWN

Matthews returned to the Bradley Center, which is also the home court of his alma mater, Marquette. He finished 11 of 15 from the field. It wasn't a happy homecoming after the Bucks pulled away in the fourth quarter.

STAT LINES

The teams combined for 60 foul shots, with the Bucks going 29 of 34 at the line, while the Mavericks were 22 of 26. ... Harrison Barnes added 18 points and eight rebounds for Dallas.

OFF THE BENCH

Thon Maker (eight rebounds, two blocks) and DeAndre Liggins (five rebounds, two steals) provided valuable minutes off the bench, combining with sixth man Brogdon to give the Bucks a lift during the third-quarter push.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Rookie G Dennis Smith Jr. missed the game with a strained left hip after getting hurt during Wednesday's loss to the Celtics. Dallas' first-round draft pick is also expected to miss Sunday's game at Minnesota. ''We're just unlucky. He came in, slid in, landed into a cameraman and kind of took his leg out,'' Carlisle said. ''We're hoping it's not serious.''

Bucks: G Tony Snell missed the game with left knee tendinitis. G Matthew Dellavedova (left knee) appears to be getting closer to returning. He was questionable coming into Friday but was scratched before the game. The team said Snell and Dellavedova would be questionable for Saturday's game against Utah. ... G Gary Payton II replaced Snell in the starting lineup but played just 5 minutes, with Brogdon (14 points) starting the second half and playing 40 minutes overall.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Travel to Minnesota on Sunday to wrap up a three-game trip.

Bucks: Try to split the season series with Utah when they host the Jazz on Saturday.

---

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Copyright 2017 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
H. Barnes
40 SF
G. Antetokounmpo
34 PF
37.2 Min. Per Game 37.2
29.6 Pts. Per Game 29.6
4.5 Ast. Per Game 4.5
10.2 Reb. Per Game 10.2
43.8 Field Goal % 54.1
43.7 Three Point % 54.7
84.0 Free Throw % 76.9
+ 1 Eric Bledsoe made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:05
+ 1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 0:05
  Personal foul on Wesley Matthews 0:05
  Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe 0:05
  Yogi Ferrell missed driving layup, blocked by Thon Maker 0:07
+ 1 Khris Middleton made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:18
+ 1 Khris Middleton made 1st of 2 free throws 0:18
  Personal foul on Antonius Cleveland 0:18
  Personal foul on Dirk Nowitzki 0:19
  Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo 0:19
  Harrison Barnes missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:22
Team Stats
Points 102 109
Field Goals 35-75 (46.7%) 36-79 (45.6%)
3-Pointers 10-24 (41.7%) 8-24 (33.3%)
Free Throws 22-26 (84.6%) 29-34 (85.3%)
Total Rebounds 46 46
Offensive 4 7
Defensive 32 33
Team 10 6
Assists 18 20
Steals 6 10
Blocks 2 6
Turnovers 11 10
Fouls 22 24
Technicals 3 1
29 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
27 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST
1234T
away team logo Mavericks 7-19 25292424102
home team logo Bucks 14-10 22272832109
Team Stats
away team logo Mavericks 7-19 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Bucks 14-10 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
Key Players
W. Matthews SG 12.7 PPG 3.1 RPG 2.7 APG 40.6 FG%
K. Middleton SF 20.1 PPG 5.2 RPG 4.0 APG 46.6 FG%
Top Scorers
W. Matthews SG 29 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
K. Middleton SF 31 PTS 1 REB 3 AST
46.7 FG% 45.6
41.7 3PT FG% 33.3
84.6 FT% 85.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
W. Matthews 37 29 4 1 0 0 2 2 11/15 5/7 2/2 0 4 33 -5
H. Barnes 36 18 8 4 0 0 2 0 7/17 0/2 4/4 1 7 32 -10
D. Nowitzki 28 11 5 1 2 0 2 2 3/10 2/5 3/3 0 5 18 +7
M. Kleber 23 7 5 0 0 1 0 4 3/6 0/1 1/2 2 3 13 +8
Y. Ferrell 22 5 2 4 0 0 0 5 2/4 1/1 0/0 0 2 15 +1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
W. Matthews 37 29 4 1 0 0 2 2 11/15 5/7 2/2 0 4 33 -5
H. Barnes 36 18 8 4 0 0 2 0 7/17 0/2 4/4 1 7 32 -10
D. Nowitzki 28 11 5 1 2 0 2 2 3/10 2/5 3/3 0 5 18 +7
M. Kleber 23 7 5 0 0 1 0 4 3/6 0/1 1/2 2 3 13 +8
Y. Ferrell 22 5 2 4 0 0 0 5 2/4 1/1 0/0 0 2 15 +1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Powell 29 15 5 0 0 0 0 2 5/7 1/2 4/4 1 4 20 -11
J. Barea 28 8 4 6 2 0 3 2 2/8 0/2 4/6 0 4 23 -12
D. Harris 23 7 1 2 2 0 2 1 1/7 1/4 4/5 0 1 12 -13
A. Cleveland 7 2 2 0 0 1 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 5 0
S. Mejri 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
J. McRoberts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Noel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Withey - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Curry - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Motley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Finney-Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Smith Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 102 36 18 6 2 11 22 35/75 10/24 22/26 4 32 171 -35
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Middleton 38 31 1 3 0 0 1 3 10/18 5/8 6/6 0 1 37 +4
G. Antetokounmpo 43 27 11 3 2 2 4 5 8/19 0/0 11/12 2 9 44 +18
E. Bledsoe 35 24 4 4 3 2 1 1 6/17 1/6 11/12 1 3 40 +2
J. Henson 21 4 7 2 1 0 0 3 2/4 0/0 0/3 1 6 16 -4
G. Payton II 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 1 +4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Middleton 38 31 1 3 0 0 1 3 10/18 5/8 6/6 0 1 37 +4
G. Antetokounmpo 43 27 11 3 2 2 4 5 8/19 0/0 11/12 2 9 44 +18
E. Bledsoe 35 24 4 4 3 2 1 1 6/17 1/6 11/12 1 3 40 +2
J. Henson 21 4 7 2 1 0 0 3 2/4 0/0 0/3 1 6 16 -4
G. Payton II 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 1 +4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Brogdon 40 14 3 6 1 0 1 4 6/10 1/4 1/1 0 3 29 +6
T. Maker 26 4 8 1 1 2 2 2 2/3 0/0 0/0 3 5 15 +11
R. Vaughn 10 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/5 1/5 0/0 0 0 3 -10
D. Liggins 19 2 5 1 2 0 1 4 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 5 10 +4
J. Terry - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Teletovic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bolomboy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Snell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dellavedova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Parker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 237 109 40 20 10 6 10 24 36/79 8/24 29/34 7 33 195 +35