NBA: Bucks beat Nets again, 124-118

Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) is defended by Blake Griffin during the second half of a game at Fiserv Forum on May 4, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Giannis Antetokounmpo made four-of-12 three-pointers en route to a team-high 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks scored their second win over the Brooklyn Nets in as many National Basketball Association games, 124-118, Tuesday (May 4) in Milwaukee.

The Bucks (41-24) dominated the interior with advantages of 44-30 scoring in the paint, 62-50 rebounding and 20-9 on second-chance points. Coupled with an overwhelming defensive effort in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee completed the two-game sweep to gain ground in the Eastern Conference chase with Brooklyn (43-23). Milwaukee moved to 1.5 games behind Brooklyn for the No. 2 seed in the East.

After falling behind by six, their largest deficit of the night, Milwaukee scored seven straight points with a pair of Donte DiVincenzo baskets from point-blank range, book-ending a Bryn Forbes three-pointer.

Forbes made four-of-seven three-pointers and finished with 14 points. DiVincenzo scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds.

Those seven points were part of a 22-5 Bucks run that proved decisive.

Brooklyn endured a field-goal drought of 4:37 after Mike James' three-pointer with 10 minutes to go put the Nets ahead, 103-97.

James, whom Brooklyn signed to a second 10-day contract on Monday, came off the bench for 10 points and three assists.

Brooklyn ended the first half in a manner similar to their fourth quarter, outscored 22-10 over the final 6:56 of the second period. The Nets whittled the deficit in the third quarter behind Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Irving scored a game-high 38 points, which included six-of-12 shooting from three-point range.

Durant went four-of-eight from outside and finished with 32 points to move past Charles Barkley to No. 26 on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Joe Harris made one of his four three-pointers to pull Brooklyn within five points, helping Irving and Durant lead a late-game charge. Irving made a pair of free throws to cut the gap to four points, but Jrue Holiday forced a turnover from Irving in the final minute that sealed the win for Milwaukee.

Brooklyn shot 20-of-43 from three-point range to Milwaukee's 14-of-37, but it was not enough to overcome the Bucks' advantage inside.

Holiday, who went four-of-six from beyond the three-point arc for the Bucks, finished with 23 points and approached a triple-double with 10 assists and eight rebounds. Khris Middleton added 23 points.

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