DENVER – Giannis Antetokunmpo has 24 points and 13 rebounds, Pat Connaughton has 20 points from the bench and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the emaciated Denver Nuggets 120-109 Friday night for their sixth straight win.
Antetokunmpo made 10 of 13 shots in just 30 minutes, and the Bucks never fell behind in a double-digit win in their third straight game.
The expected match of the last two MVPs did not happen. Nikola Jokic, who won last season and became the first Denver player to receive the award, missed his fourth game in a row with a dislocated right wrist. Michael Porter Jr has not played since Nov. 6 due to lower back pain, and PJ Dozier suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in his left knee on Tuesday night in Portland.
Aaron Gordon led the Nuggets with 19 points and nine rebounds. Will Barton had 17 points and Facu Campazzo finished 16 points for Denver.
Milwaukee, who never fell behind, threatened to knock the Nuggets off the court from the start. The Bucks were leading 24-8 early in the first quarter and up 17 points in the second quarter before Denver attempted to enter 48-43 with 3:45 to end the period.
Milwaukee were leading with 11 breaks. In the third quarter, the Nuggets closed within five. They had a chance to bring the game to one possession, but Monte Morris missed a three-pointer. By the end of the quarter, the Bucks were 19 points ahead of the game. In the fourth period, Denver scored 12 points, but did not threaten anything.