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Bucks cruise past Knicks behind Antetokounmpo's 37 points

MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't looking at the scoreboard.

Even though the Milwaukee Bucks led by 25 points at halftime Tuesday night, the reigning MVP maintained his focus in the third quarter and put the finishing touches on a 128-102 victory over the New York Knicks.

Antetokounmpo had 17 points in just more than six minutes as Milwaukee scored 43 in the period and romped past the Knicks, sweeping the three-game season series and improving to a league-best 36-6.

''I'm just trying to be aggressive and trying to make plays,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''When you come out with the mindset to make the lead go 20 or 30 or 40, that's when you mess up the lead.

''You've just got to keep doing your job, and then you look up and see you lead by 30. Then you're like, `OK, we did our job so now we can sit.'''

Antetokounmpo did all his work in just 21 minutes, sinking 12 of 17 field goal attempts and 10 of 12 free throws while adding nine rebounds and four assists.

The highlight of his night was getting fouled on a 3-pointer in the third quarter, the first time that had happened to him since he was playing in the second division in Greece.

Antetokounmpo made all three free throws after being fouled by Mitchell Robinson, and Khris Middleton added two more on the play when Elfrid Payton was issued two quick technical fouls and ejected from the game.

''It feels good,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''It's the first time it ever happened in the NBA. It was in Greece seven years ago. That made my day. But I definitely don't have that in my game yet. Let's just stay humble here.''

Middleton added 17 points and Ersan Ilyasova had 14 points and seven rebounds for Milwaukee, which led by as many as 35.

Julius Randle had 25 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Knicks (11-30), and rookie R.J. Barrett added 22 points. Bobby Portis had 20 off the bench.

Barrett was impressed by Antetokounmpo.

''He's ridiculous,'' Barrett said. ''He's strong. He's fast. He's a tough cover, for sure. He's the Greek Freak. The things he can do are incredible. As a rookie, I'm just trying to figure out a way to beat him.''

It was only the third time since 1985-86 that an NBA player scored 37 points or more in less than 22 minutes - Paul George did it earlier this season for the Los Angeles Clippers and Quintin Dailey did it in 1986 for the Chicago Bulls.

Antetokounmpo scored on a nifty drive and followed with a 3-pointer as part of a 10-0 run that gave the Bucks a 39-23 advantage early in the second quarter.

Milwaukee outscored New York 36-17 in the period to grab a 65-40 halftime lead. Antetokounmpo finished the half with 20 points and eight rebounds.

SHOOTING STAR

Middleton is mixing up his offensive game, scoring effectively from the mid-range and beyond the 3-point line. At the season's halfway point he had an effective field goal percentage of 55.8% and an overall percentage of 48.5%. ''He took the challenge to be an even better shooter,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''I think we wanted him to be better on open looks. He's taking his concentration in a lot of different areas and just increased it.'' Middleton is seeking his second straight NBA All-Star selection.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Signed forward Kenny Wooten to a two-way contract. The 6-foot-8 Wooten has appeared in 24 games this season for the Westchester Knicks of the G-League, averaging 7.7 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said he has been impressed with ''the athleticism and the energy and the force that he plays with.'' . Marcus Morris missed his fifth straight game with a neck injury, and the Knicks also were without Frank Ntilikina (sore groin) and Dennis Smith Jr. (oblique strain).

Bucks: Talk has turned to Milwaukee's chances of reaching 70 wins, after the team had 35 at the season's halfway mark. Only the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72 wins) and 2015-16 Golden State Warriors (73) have eclipsed that mark. Those Warriors were outspoken about wanting to beat the Bulls' record. But it's not a subject Budenholzer is thinking about. ''We appreciate we've had a great start, but there's still a lot of work to do,'' he said. ''Defensively, individual pride, it feels like there are nights where we can't keep the ball in front of us. Offensively, our execution, both when we're playing motion and in the half-court stuff, we need to be better. That becomes more important in close games, in the playoffs.'' . Backup center Robin Lopez sat out for rest, taking his turn in the team's plan to keep players fresh throughout the season. ... Green Bay Packers stars Za'Darius Smith and Aaron Jones received huge ovations when they were introduced during a timeout late in the third quarter. The Packers play San Francisco in the NFC title game on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Bucks: Host the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:38   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed hook shot  
11:35   Defensive rebound by Elfrid Payton  
11:22   Lost ball turnover on R.J. Barrett, stolen by Wesley Matthews  
11:18 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk 0-2
11:02   Elfrid Payton missed floating jump shot  
10:59   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
10:54 +2 Khris Middleton made floating jump shot 0-4
10:42   Julius Randle missed hook shot  
10:39   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
10:36 +2 Khris Middleton made reverse layup, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 0-6
10:17   Julius Randle missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:15   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
10:10   Personal foul on Julius Randle  
10:03   Eric Bledsoe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:01   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
9:51   Reggie Bullock missed floating jump shot  
9:49   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
9:46   Out of bounds turnover on Eric Bledsoe  
9:35   Taj Gibson missed jump shot  
9:32   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
9:29   Personal foul on Elfrid Payton  
9:12   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed driving layup  
9:08   Offensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
9:08 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk 0-8
8:58   Shooting foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
8:58 +1 Julius Randle made 1st of 2 free throws 1-8
8:58 +1 Julius Randle made 2nd of 2 free throws 2-8
8:43 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made driving layup, assist by Khris Middleton 2-10
8:20 +2 Elfrid Payton made floating jump shot 4-10
8:13 +2 Eric Bledsoe made finger-roll layup 4-12
8:00   R.J. Barrett missed floating jump shot  
7:58   Defensive rebound by Brook Lopez  
7:49 +3 Brook Lopez made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Khris Middleton 4-15
7:26   Julius Randle missed jump shot  
7:23   Defensive rebound by Brook Lopez  
7:20 +3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brook Lopez 4-18
6:58 +3 R.J. Barrett made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Taj Gibson 7-18
6:42   Bad pass turnover on Eric Bledsoe, stolen by Taj Gibson  
6:37   R.J. Barrett missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:35   Offensive rebound by Julius Randle  
6:33 +2 Julius Randle made dunk 9-18
6:21   Wesley Matthews missed layup  
6:19   Defensive rebound by Elfrid Payton  
6:16   Taj Gibson missed jump shot  
6:13   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
6:08   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:04   Defensive rebound by Elfrid Payton  
6:01   Julius Randle missed layup, blocked by Brook Lopez  
6:01   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
5:56   Wesley Matthews missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:49   Offensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
5:44   Shooting foul on Taj Gibson  
5:44 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 9-19
5:44 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 9-20
5:22 +3 Julius Randle made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 12-20
5:10   Bad pass turnover on Donte DiVincenzo, stolen by Mitchell Robinson  
5:04   Reggie Bullock missed layup  
5:01   Offensive rebound by Julius Randle  
5:01   Julius Randle missed dunk  
5:01   Offensive rebound by Julius Randle  
4:59   Julius Randle missed dunk, blocked by Brook Lopez  
4:55   Offensive rebound by Julius Randle  
4:54 +2 Julius Randle made dunk 14-20
4:48   Shooting foul on Mitchell Robinson  
4:48 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 14-21
4:48   Eric Bledsoe missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
4:45   Defensive rebound by R.J. Barrett  
4:28 +3 Julius Randle made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 17-21
4:07   Brook Lopez missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:04   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
3:59   Reggie Bullock missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:55   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
3:43 +2 Ersan Ilyasova made layup, assist by Eric Bledsoe 17-23
3:23   Elfrid Payton missed driving layup  
3:19   Offensive rebound by Mitchell Robinson  
3:19 +2 Mitchell Robinson made dunk 19-23
3:15   Eric Bledsoe missed floating jump shot, blocked by Mitchell Robinson  
3:12   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
3:08   Personal foul on Donte DiVincenzo  
3:02 +2 Mitchell Robinson made alley-oop shot, assist by Kadeem Allen 21-23
2:41 +3 George Hill made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Donte DiVincenzo 21-26
2:29   Julius Randle missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:26   Defensive rebound by George Hill  
2:17   Dragan Bender missed driving layup  
2:13   Defensive rebound by Mitchell Robinson  
2:02   Damyean Dotson missed jump shot  
1:59   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
1:49   Donte DiVincenzo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:45   Offensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
1:43 +2 Donte DiVincenzo made layup, assist by Ersan Ilyasova 21-28
1:23   Personal foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
1:13 +2 Julius Randle made driving layup 23-28
1:00   George Hill missed layup  
0:57   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
0:53   Damyean Dotson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:52   MIL team rebound  
0:41   Shooting foul on Kevin II Knox  
0:41   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:41   MIL team rebound  
0:41 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 23-29
0:28   Damyean Dotson missed jump shot  
0:23   Defensive rebound by Kyle Korver  
0:06   George Hill missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:03   Defensive rebound by Mitchell Robinson  
0:00   Damyean Dotson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   NY team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:49   Bobby Portis missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:45   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
11:39 +2 George Hill made finger-roll layup, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 23-31
11:31   Traveling violation turnover on Kadeem Allen  
11:17   Kyle Korver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:14   Defensive rebound by Bobby Portis  
11:04   Damyean Dotson missed jump shot  
11:01   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
10:55 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made finger-roll layup 23-33
10:42   Kevin II Knox missed jump shot  
10:40   Defensive rebound by Dragan Bender  
10:31 +3 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Pat Connaughton 23-36
10:14   Kadeem Allen missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:11   Defensive rebound by Dragan Bender  
9:57 +3 Kyle Korver made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 23-39
9:39 +3 Kevin II Knox made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kadeem Allen 26-39
9:27   Dragan Bender missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:24   Defensive rebound by Kadeem Allen  
9:21   Shooting foul on Kyle Korver  
9:21   Bobby Portis missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:21   NY team rebound  
9:21 +1 Bobby Portis made 2nd of 2 free throws 27-39
9:09   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed jump shot  
9:06   Defensive rebound by Kevin II Knox  
9:00 +2 Bobby Portis made hook shot, assist by Kevin II Knox 29-39
8:49 +2 Khris Middleton made jump shot 29-41
8:25 +2 Mitchell Robinson made dunk, assist by Kevin II Knox 31-41
8:10   Khris Middleton missed jump shot  
8:08   Offensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
8:00   Eric Bledsoe missed turnaround jump shot  
7:58   Defensive rebound by Bobby Portis  
7:51   Bad pass turnover on Bobby Portis, stolen by Brook Lopez  
7:48   Personal foul on Kadeem Allen  
7:43 +2 Brook Lopez made alley-oop shot, assist by Khris Middleton 31-43
7:21   Bobby Portis missed driving layup, blocked by Ersan Ilyasova  
7:17   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
7:16   Eric Bledsoe missed floating jump shot  
7:13   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
7:11   Personal foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
7:04 +2 Bobby Portis made layup, assist by Elfrid Payton 33-43
6:54   Ersan Ilyasova missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:52   Offensive rebound by Wesley Matthews  
6:48   Eric Bledsoe missed driving layup  
6:45   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
6:34   Julius Randle missed hook shot  
6:32   Defensive rebound by Wesley Matthews  
6:25 +3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot 33-46
6:16   Elfrid Payton missed driving layup  
6:13   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
6:10   Offensive foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
6:10   Turnover on Ersan Ilyasova  
6:00   Bobby Portis missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:57   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
5:54   Personal foul on Elfrid Payton  
5:47   Lost ball turnover on Khris Middleton, stolen by Reggie Bullock  
5:47   Personal foul on Khris Middleton  
5:33   Traveling violation turnover on Julius Randle  
5:18   Ersan Ilyasova missed finger-roll layup  
5:15   Defensive rebound by R.J. Barrett  
5:11   Bad pass turnover on R.J. Barrett, stolen by Ersan Ilyasova  
5:05 +2 Khris Middleton made finger-roll layup, assist by Eric Bledsoe 33-48
4:47   Reggie Bullock missed floating jump shot  
4:43   Defensive rebound by Wesley Matthews  
4:37 +3 Ersan Ilyasova made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Eric Bledsoe 33-51
4:16 +3 R.J. Barrett made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Julius Randle 36-51
4:04   Wesley Matthews missed jump shot  
4:04   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
3:57   Reggie Bullock missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:54   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
3:50   Shooting foul on Julius Randle  
3:50 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 36-52
3:50 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 2nd of 2 free throws 36-53
3:40   Reggie Bullock missed jump shot  
3:35   Defensive rebound by Dragan Bender  
3:23   Eric Bledsoe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:21   Defensive rebound by Bobby Portis  
3:08   Traveling violation turnover on Julius Randle  
2:56   Wesley Matthews missed hook shot  
2:56   NY team rebound  
2:56   Personal foul on Ersan Ilyasova  
2:42 +2 Julius Randle made jump shot 38-53
2:30   Shooting foul on Elfrid Payton  
2:30   George Hill missed 1st of 2 free throws  
2:30   MIL team rebound  
2:30 +1 George Hill made 2nd of 2 free throws 38-54
2:17   Julius Randle missed hook shot  
2:14   Defensive rebound by George Hill  
2:04 +2 Donte DiVincenzo made driving layup 38-56
1:56   Reggie Bullock missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:53   Defensive rebound by Pat Connaughton  
1:46 +3 Donte DiVincenzo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dragan Bender 38-59
1:28   R.J. Barrett missed layup, blocked by Donte DiVincenzo  
1:26   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
1:26   Personal foul on Bobby Portis  
1:26 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 38-60
1:26 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 38-61
1:12   Shooting foul on Pat Connaughton  
1:12 +1 R.J. Barrett made 1st of 2 free throws 39-61
1:12 +1 R.J. Barrett made 2nd of 2 free throws 40-61
1:12   Violation  
0:58 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made reverse layup 40-63
0:58   Shooting foul on Mitchell Robinson  
0:58   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed free throw  
0:56   Defensive rebound by R.J. Barrett  
0:46   R.J. Barrett missed finger-roll layup, blocked by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
0:42   Defensive rebound by George Hill  
0:38   Donte DiVincenzo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:35   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
0:24   Shooting foul on Dragan Bender  
0:24   Mitchell Robinson missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:24   NY team rebound  
0:24   Mitchell Robinson missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:23   Defensive rebound by Dragan Bender  
0:01   Personal foul on Mitchell Robinson  
0:01 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 40-64
0:01 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 40-65
0:00   End of period