Antetokounmpo Leads Bucks to 30th Win of the Season Over Hawks

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives between Atlanta Hawks' John Collins and DeAndre' Bembry during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Antetokounmpo was rested on Friday night to help him deal with ongoing right quad soreness and a left hip contusion. He returned to lead the Bucks in scoring, shooting 9-for-17 from the field and surpassing the 30-point mark for the 18th time this season.

Antetokounmpo, who has attempted the third-most free throws in the NBA, was 14-for-19 from the line. He also had 11 rebounds and four assists.

The win was the 30th of the season for the Bucks, who remain the only team in the league without back-to-back losses, now 12-0 in games following a loss.

The Bucks have won 12 of their last 15 and won their sixth straight meeting against Atlanta. The Bucks also got 24 points from Eric Bledsoe, giving him 20-plus for the eighth time, along with 10 assists and two steals. Khris Middleton scored 17 and Atlanta native Malcolm Brogdon scored 14.

The game was different than the first meeting between the two teams this season, played nine days ago, when Milwaukee outscored Atlanta 43-14 in the first quarter and ran away to a 32-point victory in Milwaukee.

The Bucks did lead after 12 minutes, but only by three points (35-32). They outscored the hosts in each quarter, but never by double digits in slowly building their lead before pulling away.

Rookie Trae Young led the Hawks with 26 points, giving him 20 for the 10th time (though the first time since December 29). Young was just 7-for-16 from the floor but got to the free-throw line 13 times and made 11. He added 10 rebounds and four assists.

The Hawks also got 18 points and seven rebounds from DeAndre’ Bembry, 13 points and 11 rebounds from John Collins, and 13 points and six rebounds from rookie Omari Spellman.

Taurean Prince returned after missing 18 games with an ankle injury and scored seven points in 11 minutes.

Atlanta play again on Tuesday against Oklahoma City in the second game of their current four-game homestand. Milwaukee return home on Tuesday to play the Miami Heat.