Giannis Antetokounmpo not only was available to play, he was in a mood to dominate.
Antetokounmpo scored 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as the Milwaukee Bucks cruised to a 131-115 victory over the Washington Wizards Saturday night.
Antetokounmpo sat out with a sore quadriceps muscle when the Bucks visited Washington back on Jan. 11, and the Wizards scored a 113-106 victory, making 18 of 33 3-pointers,
The Bucks (38-13) extended their NBA-best record and increased their lead over the Toronto Raptors to two games for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee has won eight of its last 10 road games and 16 of its last 19 overall.
The Bucks also improved to 8-0 in rematch games against teams that have beaten them. They have not lost two games in a row and have not been beaten twice by any team this season.
After the Wizards jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first 45 seconds — prompting a very early timeout by Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer — Milwaukee took over.
An 18-4 run gave the Bucks a 20-11 lead. and Milwaukee led, 38-26, after a quarter. The Wizards pulled within 45-38 early in the second quarter as Thomas Bryant scored 10 points in the opening 4:03 of the period.
From there the Bucks went on a 28-9 run, and they held a 73-40 lead at the half.
The lead reached 86-54 three minutes into the third quarter. The Wizards used a 16-0 run to throw a mini scare into the Bucks, but they never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Brook Lopez added 21 to the Milwaukee account, and Khris Middleton chipped in 20 as the Bucks put six players in double figures despite the absence of starting guard Eric Bledsoe, who sat with a sore Achilles’ tendon.
The Bucks shot 50% (45 of 90) and made 17 of 39 (43.6%) 3-pointers. Even more impressive, the Bucks didn’t miss a free throw in 24 attempts. Antetokounmpo accounted for most of that, going 17 for 17 as he attacked the basket through his 33 minutes.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards (22-30) with 24 points, and Jeff Green added 20 off the bench.
The Bucks improved to 3-1 on their current road trip, which ends Monday night in Brooklyn.