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Defense lifts Bucks to 51-42 lead over Nets at half

Defense has become the word of the night, as the Milwaukee Bucks have taken a 51-42 lead over the Brooklyn Nets after one half.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored 20 points, but the stat that jumps off the sheet is the Nets shooting 24.4% (11 for 45), including 1 for 18 (5.6%) on 3-pointers.

Antetokounmpo is the only player on either team in double figures, as each team has its share of struggling shooters.

Brooklyn guards Shabazz Napier (1 for 8) and D’Angelo Russell (3 for 10) have combined to go 4 for 18, with Napier going 0 for 6 behind the arc. They each have nine points. DeMarre Carroll is 0 for 5, and Theo Pinson is 0 for 4 off the Brooklyn bench.

Other than Antetokounmpo, the Bucks aren’t faring a whole lot better. Antetokounmpo is 7 for 12, but center Brook Lopez is 0 for 4 and small forward Khris Middleton is 1 for 7. The Bucks are shooting 35.4% (17 for 48).

With all those misses, there are plenty of rebounds to be had, and the Bucks hold a 30-28 edge on the boards. Antetokounmpo has claimed a game-high eight.

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