As if NBA opponents didn’t have enough to worry about, the Milwaukee Bucks have begun making themselves at home on the road.
Eric Bledsoe scored a season-high 30 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 25 points and 13 rebounds as the Bucks pulled away to a 118-108 victory over the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena Saturday night.
The Bucks won their fourth straight and their third straight road game, all of them by double digits.
At 33-12, the Bucks moved to 21 games over .500, their most since the 2000-’01 season.
Every time the Magic made a bid, Bledsoe and the Bucks beat them back.
Jarell Martin’s jumper to open the fourth quarter pulled the Magic within 87-85. Antetokounmpo scored on a tip-in and Bledsoe dropped in a 3-pointer to push the Bucks to a 92-85 lead.
Bledsoe’s 18-footer with 10:20 left made it 94-87, and his 3-point play with 9:09 left gave the Bucks a 98-89 lead.
Isaiah Briscoe’s 3-pointer pulled the Magic within 101-94, and Bledsoe answered again, this time with a jumper to make it 103-94 with 7:37 left.
Again, Orlando put the pressure on. A 3-pointer by D.J. Augustin with 4:29 left, and a free throw by Augustin with 3:59 left made it 106-102.
Khris Middleton drilled a 3-pointer, Bledsoe hit a 12-footer and Malcolm Brogdon scored a layup. That 7-0 run made it 113-102 with 2:31 left, and the Magic was finished.
When it was over, the Bucks again could point to contributions throughout the roster. Brook Lopez had just eight points and four rebounds, but his six blocks set the tone for an interior defense that controlled the paint.
Brogdon added 18 points and Middleton had 15, including his huge 3-pointer to key the clinching 7-0 run. D.J. Wilson led a bench effort with eight points, 10 rebounds and another big defensive effort. Tony Snell hit two 3-pointers, George Hill chipped in four assists and three steals. Ersan Ilyasova and Sterling Brown hit 3-pointers.
The Bucks have gone 15-3 in their last 18 games, and it’s been a total team effort.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 27 points but went 11 for 24 to do it as the Bucks interior defense challenged nearly every shot. Terrence Ross added 16 off the bench.
The Magic (19-27) made 14 of 32 3-pointers to hang around, but the Bucks took the lead for good at 10-9 on Antetokounmpo’s dunk with 7:40 left in the first quarter. The Bucks led by as many as 19 in the second quarter.