Antetokounmpo flurry leads Bucks' stampede

MILWAUKEE • Giannis Antetokounmpo was not looking at the scoreboard.

Even though the Milwaukee Bucks were up by 25 points at half-time on Tuesday night, the reigning Most Valuable Player maintained his focus to put the finishing touches on a 128-102 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the New York Knicks.

He had 17 points in six minutes as Milwaukee scored 43 in the period to romp past the Knicks, sweeping their three-game season series and improving to a league-best 36-6.

"I'm just trying to be aggressive and trying to make plays," Antetokounmpo said. "When you come out with the mindset to make the lead go 20 or 30 or 40, that's when you mess up the lead. You've got to keep doing your job, then you look up and see you lead by 30. Then you're like, 'OK, we did our job'."

The forward scored all of his game-high 37 points in just 21 minutes, sinking 12 of 17 field-goal attempts and 10 of 12 free throws while adding nine rebounds and four assists.

The highlight of his night was getting fouled on a three-pointer in the third quarter, his first time in the NBA. He made all three free throws.

"It feels good," Antetokounmpo said. "It's the first time it ever happened in the NBA. That made my day. But I definitely don't have that in my game yet. Let's stay humble."

It was only the third time since 1985-86 that a player had 37 points or more in fewer than 22 minutes.

Khris Middleton added 17 points and Ersan Ilyasova had 14 points and seven rebounds for Milwaukee. Julius Randle had 25 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Knicks (11-30).

The victory was the Bucks' 13th of the season by 20 or more points.

"The way we came out it's a good sign for us," coach Mike Budenholzer said of a Bucks team on pace for a 70-win season.

ASSOCIATED PRESS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2020, with the headline 'Antetokounmpo flurry leads Bucks' stampede'. Print Edition | Subscribe