Antetokounmpo scores 25 as Bucks beat Pelicans 123-115
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-115 on Wednesday night.
Antetokounmpo added eight assists and eight rebounds for Milwaukee, which improved to 21-9.
New Orleans, already short-handed in the frontcourt due to a rash of injuries, played an extended stretch without star forward Anthony Davis, who led the Pelicans with 14 points and five rebounds in the first quarter. He limped off the court and directly to the locker room with an apparent left ankle injury in the waning seconds of the period after his legs got tangled with teammate Andrew Harrison underneath the basket as Harrison drew a charge on Thon Maker.
Davis, who also appeared shaken up on the previous play when he fell to his knees after blocking a shot, returned to the bench briefly at the start of the second quarter before again heading to locker room. The Pelicans' public relations staff tweeted shortly before halftime that Davis' return was questionable due to illness. Davis returned to the bench in the third quarter and entered the game almost immediately.
He scored the Pelicans' first nine points in the fourth quarter and finished with 27, along with 11 rebounds. Jrue Holiday had 25 points and 12 assists.
Milwaukee's George Hill hit a 3-pointer at the horn to end the third quarter and tie it at 90 in a game that featured seven ties and 14 lead changes through the first three periods.
The game remained tight throughout the fourth before the Bucks went on an 11-0 run to build a 10-point lead with 3:18 remaining. The Pelicans got no closer than six the rest of the way.
The Bucks opened a 12-point lead in the second before New Orleans rallied to take a 66-62 lead at halftime sparked by Darius Miller, who poured in a season-high 17 points and finished with 20.
Pelicans: F Nikola Mirotic sat out for the third consecutive game with a right ankle injury. ... F Julius Randle, who left Sunday's game against Miami in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain, didn't play. Miller replaced him in the starting lineup. . A right ankle injury also sidelined G Ian Clark.
Bucks: G Malcolm Brogdon returned after missing two games with left hamstring soreness. ... F Ersan Ilyasova missed a second consecutive game with a broken nose. . Rookie G Donte DiVincenzo has been assigned to the club's G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd.