Playing uphill all night long, the Milwaukee Bucks could not overcome a big shooting night by Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
George scored 36 points and made 8 of 12 3-pointers, and the Thunder made 16 of 32 from behind the arc in a 118-112 victory over the Bucks Sunday night in Oklahoma City.
The Bucks (35-13) trailed by as many as 19 in the third quarter, as Oklahoma City (31-18) held Giannis Antetokounmpo without a field goal in the first half. Two 3-pointers by Khris Middleton and one by Sterling Brown pulled the Bucks within 82-75 with 1:24 left in the third, but two missed free throws by D.J. Wilson prevented the Bucks from getting closer, and Dennis Schroder’s 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds left gave the Thunder an 89-79 lead entering the fourth,
The Bucks trailed by as many as 14 in the fourth before rallying in the final 4 minutes. Antetokounmpo’s third 3-pointer of the night cut it to 106-102 with 2:o2 left. Eric Bledsoe’s 3-pointer with 1:o9 made it a one-possession game at 110-107.
With Malcolm Brogdon in his face and the shot clock under 5 seconds, George rose up and swished a 3-pointer to make it 113-107 with 47.2 seconds remaining.
George added 12 rebounds to his big scoring night. Russell Westbrook tallied another triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Jerami Grant added 16 points as the Thunder had six players with at least 13 points.
Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds despite his first-half woes.
The Bucks jumped to an 8-0 lead at the start before the Thunder gained its footing. George scored 21 of his points in the first half, and Antetokounmpo went 0 for 6 from the field, making just three free throws in six attempts on his scoring ledger. He scored 10 in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth.
Antetokounpo’s three 3-pointers tied a season high. The Bucks have lost both games in wich he’s made three triples.
Khris Middleton added 22 points for the Bucks, and Brook Lopez chipped in 19, including 5-of-6 shooting on 3-pointers. But other than Lopez and Antetokounmpo, the rest of the Bucks were 7 of 26 behind the arc.
The Bucks had a six-game winning streak snapped, and have four more road games remaining on this five-game trip. They travel to Detroit Tuesday night to take on the Pistons.