With Giannis Antetokounmpo out because of a sore quadriceps and hip, the Milwaukee Bucks needed to find a way to make up for the absence of the MVP candidate.
Even though the Bucks put six players in double figures, they couldn’t overcome the hot shooting of the Washington Wizards,
Bradley Beal scored 32 points, Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green added 20 points each and Tomas Satoransky recorded a triple-double of 18 points 12 rebounds and 10 assists, as the Wizards posted a 113-106 victory Friday night in the nation’s capitol.
The had won their previous two games this season in which Antetokounmpo sat out.
Washington went 18 for 33 on 3-pointers (54.7%), with too many of them of the wide-open variety, to keep the Bucks at an arm’s length most of the night.
The Wizards scored 40 first-quarter points to lead by 14, bumped it to 16 with the first basket of the second quarter, and never trailed over the last 46:24 after Green’s basket gave them a 6-5 lead.
The Bucks trailed by 10 at the half and used a pair of 8-0 runs — sandwiched around a 6-0 Washington run — to draw even midway through the third quarter. But Milwaukee never sustained a long-enough period of consistent play to make up for Antetokounmpo’s absence.
Eric Bledsoe’s 3-pointer tied the game at 63-63 with 6:59 in the third. After Ariza drilled a triple, Khris Middleton drilled a triple to tie it again at 66 with 6:28 left in the third.
Green’s 3-point play with 5:14 in the third gave the Wizards the lead for good.
Ariza’s 3-pointer with 4:04 i the third pushed the lead to 80-72, and every time the Bucks would draw near, the Wizards would shoot their way back to a comfort zone.
Green made two 3-pointers and a 21=footer in the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter, and the Wizards made five triples in the period. The Bucks never got closer than seven in the final six minutes.
Middleton led the Bucks (29-12) with 25 points, and Bledsoe added 18. Malcolm Brogdon added 15, but no one stepped up enough to alleviate Antetokounmpo’s absence.