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Bucks overcame sluggish start to beat Bulls 118-105

CHICAGO (AP) Shabazz Muhammad and fellow reserves Brandon Jennings and Tony Snell took care of the scoring with Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined by a sprained right ankle.

Muhammad scored 21 points and the Bucks overcame another sluggish start to beat the Chicago Bulls 118-105 on Friday night.

''The start of the game was a little bit rough for us,'' interim coach Joe Prunty conceded. ''But I loved what our bench did. They were impressive down the stretch. Good win.''

The lottery-bound Bulls led by as much as 32-20 in the first quarter before Muhammad, Jennings and Snell came up big off the bench.

Snell matched his season-high with 18 points, while Jennings had 16 points and five assists to help the Bucks (38-34) move within a half-game of the seventh-place Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

''Giannis is one of the best players in the world and he does so much for us,'' Muhammad said. ''We all had (to contribute). One guy isn't going to replace him. That's what we did.''

Denzel Valentine led Chicago with 20 points, and Cameron Payne had a career-high 17 points and six assists. The Bulls have lost four in a row.

Jennings had 10 points and three assists in the second period, which the Bucks opened with a 14-3 spurt for a 38-37 lead.

Snell scored eight points in the third period, which saw the Bucks extend their lead to 90-82.

Late starts and shoddy defense plagued Milwaukee in recent games, and this one was no different.

The Bulls connected on five of their first seven field goal tries to take a 15-4 lead less than four minutes into the game. They took a 34-24 advantage into the second period before the Bucks bench swung the momentum.

''I loved our effort, especially early,'' coach Fred Hoiberg said. ''We came into the game with the right mentality. I thought we really set the tone in the first quarter.''

TIP-INS

Bucks: The 3-point and paint areas have been the root of their problems on defense of late. At the start of the day, they ranked 23rd in opponents' 3-point percentage and 24th in defensive rebounding percentage this month. ... G Matthew Dellavedova reported improvement in his sprained right ankle but there remained no timetable for his return.

Bulls: Payne tweaked his right ankle in third quarter. ''I had X-rays,'' he said. ''Everything was fine.'' ... Rookie F Lauri Markkanen shook off some pre-game back stiffness and started after a five-game absence. F Paul Zipser (sore right foot) was unavailable. ... G Antonio Blakeney (fractured left wrist) will sit out the rest of the season.

NEXT MAN UP

The Bucks were optimistic that Antetokounmpo's injury would not complicate their playoff run.

''I can't give you an honest answer and say exactly when he's coming back, but I believe it will be sooner rather than later,'' Prunty said. ''I don't think it's worthwhile speculating at this time.''

MORE AIR TIME

Antetokounmpo will be featured on CBS' ''60 Minutes'' on Sunday. The segment will trace his unlikely rise from a gangly kid in Athens, Greece, to a 23-year-old NBA franchise player.

RAMBLER MAN

Hoiberg was among the legion of Chicago area fans who had a rooting interest in NCAA Tournament game between the hometown Loyola and Kansas State, led by Bruce Weber, the onetime Illinois boss.

''Loyola is just so much fun to watch right now with all the different storylines,'' Hoiberg said. ''Knowing Bruce, I know he's going to put a great game plan together. It should be an exciting game, but I gotta go for the Ramblers.''

UP NEXT

Bucks: Host San Antonio on Sunday.

Bulls: At Detroit on Saturday night.

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

Key Players
K. Middleton
22 SF
B. Portis
5 PF
22.4 Min. Per Game 22.4
13.3 Pts. Per Game 13.3
1.8 Ast. Per Game 1.8
6.8 Reb. Per Game 6.8
46.9 Field Goal % 46.8
47.0 Three Point % 47.1
87.9 Free Throw % 78.4
  Defensive rebound by John Henson 0:15
  Cristiano Felicio missed layup 0:21
+ 3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot 0:31
  Lost ball turnover on Denzel Valentine, stolen by Khris Middleton 0:53
  Offensive rebound by Cristiano Felicio 0:56
  Cameron Payne missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:00
+ 1 Khris Middleton made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:13
+ 1 Khris Middleton made 1st of 2 free throws 1:13
  Personal foul on Denzel Valentine 1:13
  Offensive rebound by Jason Terry 1:17
  Jabari Parker missed jump shot 1:21
Team Stats
Points 118 105
Field Goals 43-87 (49.4%) 36-87 (41.4%)
3-Pointers 15-30 (50.0%) 12-26 (46.2%)
Free Throws 17-19 (89.5%) 21-23 (91.3%)
Total Rebounds 40 59
Offensive 7 17
Defensive 29 34
Team 4 8
Assists 27 21
Steals 8 3
Blocks 7 2
Turnovers 5 14
Fouls 20 21
Technicals 1 2
21 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST
17 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Bucks 38-34 24372928118
home team logo Bulls 24-48 34272123105
Team Stats
away team logo Bucks 38-34 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
home team logo Bulls 24-48 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
S. Muhammad SG 8.5 PPG 2.8 RPG 0.6 APG 55.2 FG%
D. Valentine SF 10.2 PPG 5.1 RPG 3.2 APG 41.7 FG%
Top Scorers
S. Muhammad SG 21 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
D. Valentine SF 20 PTS 5 REB 3 AST
49.4 FG% 41.4
50.0 3PT FG% 46.2
89.5 FT% 91.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Middleton 34 16 3 6 4 1 2 2 5/14 2/6 4/4 0 3 34 +8
E. Bledsoe 20 13 4 4 0 2 0 3 4/8 1/3 4/4 0 4 27 +13
J. Henson 28 11 12 1 0 1 0 2 5/10 1/1 0/0 4 8 26 +11
J. Parker 30 6 3 4 0 0 0 3 3/10 0/0 0/0 1 2 17 +4
S. Brown 7 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/5 0/3 0/0 0 1 3 -14
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Middleton 34 16 3 6 4 1 2 2 5/14 2/6 4/4 0 3 34 +8
E. Bledsoe 20 13 4 4 0 2 0 3 4/8 1/3 4/4 0 4 27 +13
J. Henson 28 11 12 1 0 1 0 2 5/10 1/1 0/0 4 8 26 +11
J. Parker 30 6 3 4 0 0 0 3 3/10 0/0 0/0 1 2 17 +4
S. Brown 7 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/5 0/3 0/0 0 1 3 -14
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Muhammad 20 21 5 3 2 1 0 2 9/12 2/2 1/1 0 5 35 +16
T. Snell 21 18 0 0 0 0 0 1 6/6 4/4 2/2 0 0 18 +13
B. Jennings 27 16 4 5 1 1 1 1 5/11 2/6 4/4 0 4 31 0
J. Terry 29 10 2 2 0 0 1 2 3/4 3/4 1/1 1 1 15 +12
T. Maker 19 5 2 2 1 1 1 3 2/7 0/1 1/3 1 1 12 +2
M. Brogdon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Zeller - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Antetokounmpo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dellavedova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Munford - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Plumlee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 118 36 27 8 7 5 20 43/87 15/30 17/19 7 29 218 +65
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Valentine 32 20 5 3 2 1 5 3 7/13 4/7 2/2 0 5 29 -12
C. Payne 30 17 4 6 1 0 1 3 6/12 2/4 3/3 1 3 33 0
J. Holiday 22 11 4 2 0 0 0 1 4/12 1/3 2/2 1 3 19 +11
C. Felicio 31 11 11 3 0 0 1 0 4/10 0/0 3/4 6 5 27 -2
L. Markkanen 22 9 6 0 0 0 0 3 3/7 1/2 2/2 1 5 15 -3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Valentine 32 20 5 3 2 1 5 3 7/13 4/7 2/2 0 5 29 -12
C. Payne 30 17 4 6 1 0 1 3 6/12 2/4 3/3 1 3 33 0
J. Holiday 22 11 4 2 0 0 0 1 4/12 1/3 2/2 1 3 19 +11
C. Felicio 31 11 11 3 0 0 1 0 4/10 0/0 3/4 6 5 27 -2
L. Markkanen 22 9 6 0 0 0 0 3 3/7 1/2 2/2 1 5 15 -3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Portis 21 16 6 1 0 1 1 3 6/14 3/4 1/2 3 3 24 -5
D. Nwaba 26 10 4 1 0 0 2 2 2/7 0/1 6/6 3 1 14 -19
J. Grant 22 9 1 4 0 0 3 3 3/6 1/1 2/2 1 0 15 -11
N. Vonleh 19 2 8 0 0 0 1 3 1/4 0/2 0/0 1 7 9 -16
R. Arcidiacono 10 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 2 4 -8
O. Asik - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Lopez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Dunn - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Eddie - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Blakeney - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Zipser - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 105 51 21 3 2 14 21 36/87 12/26 21/23 17 34 189 -65