Nuggets Edge Out Bucks in Epic Showdown of Conference Leaders

by Ethan Kim
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The Denver Nuggets beat the Milwaukee Bucks in a close game by 129-106. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each scored 31 points and 11 assists, respectively. Michael Porter Jr. helped out with 19 points. The Nuggets were able to outscore the Bucks in the second half of the game 68 to 40.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points, but only 7 of them were in the second half. He also grabbed nine rebounds which helped the Bucks win the game (53-20). Nikola Jokic said that winning games is great, but they ultimately want to go far in the playoffs.

The match between two of the best teams and two powerful MVP contenders was more difficult than their previous game, which the Bucks won 107-99. When that happened though, the Nuggets did not play with 4 of their big star players (Jokic, Murray, Porter and Caldwell-Pope). That’s because they had a game the night before and decided to give them a break. This time around in this new match, things were different since it was now the Bucks who had just played a game the day before!

Khris Middleton said that everyone still has to be playing hard and doing their best even if teams aren’t at 100%. He also mentioned that many people would like it to be more fair so there wouldn’t be back-to-back games or teams playing while they’re injured.

Antetokounmpo had a great first half and scored 24 points, with most of them coming right at the hoop. Murray got 20 points and Jokic 17 in the same period, so Denver were only 3 points behind at halftime. Then, they played better in the third quarter and outscored Milwaukee 34-19 to be up by 97-85.

Jeff Green dunked over Antetokounmpo at the start of the fourth quarter. This put the Nuggets up by 15 points, but Grayson Allen then made a 3-pointer that reduced their lead to 12. After that, Denver didn’t let Milwaukee score anything for 4 minutes and 10 seconds while they increased their lead to 20 points.

Jokic thought Jeff’s dunk was amazing because he almost lost his balance while doing it!

Antetokounmpo eventually had to leave with 5:54 left on the clock and didn’t come back.

Things weren’t running smoothly for the Bucks in the third quarter. Bobby Portis Jr. got a take foul on Jokic and right after that, a technical was called. Denver scored two points from the free throws and Bruce Brown made a 3-pointer to get an 84-76 lead. Later Brook Lopez got a technical while sitting on the bench too.

Antetokounmpo got his team’s third technical with only 6 minutes left in the game. Coach Mike Budenholzer said:”It was a bad day, it happens.”

Denver coach Michael Malone received a technical penalty in the first quarter to prevent their player Nikola Jokic from getting one. Jokic was feeling frustrated by all the physical play, so during a timeout Malone said he would take the technical instead. He said that he understood “the hierarchy here” and that he could get kicked out while Jokic couldn’t. Meanwhile, Bucks player Khris Middleton scored 13 points and had 6 rebounds even though he missed Friday’s game due to an injury. It was Milwaukee’s fourth loss since January 21st.

Green was on the court for several minutes after he got fouled by Antetokounmpo with 11:14 remaining in the game, but then came back. Next, the Bucks will be playing at Detroit on Monday and Nuggets will play away against Philadelphia. For more NBA news, you can go to https://bigbignews.net/NBA or visit https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

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