Khris(mas) Middleton scores 31 as Bucks Dominate Warriors on Christmas Day
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 31 points and the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Golden State Warriors 138-99 on Friday to win their first Christmas Day home game in over half a century.
Middleton went 10 of 15 overall and 6 for 8 from 3-point range, leading a strong performance from deep for his team. He totaled 58 points in his first two games of the season.
“The weeks before the season, I just tried to put in good work, work on my game,” Middleton said. “So far, it’s been working for me.”
Milwaukee was 20 of 37 on 3-point attempts, while Golden State was 10 of 45.
The Warriors were outscored by 65 points in their first two games, the second-highest total in NBA history through two games to 71 points for the 1987-88 Clippers. Golden State lost 125-99 at Brooklyn in its season opener.
This was the second-most lopsided score of any Christmas Day game in NBA history. The Syracuse Nationals beat the New York Knicks 162-100 on Dec. 25, 1960.
“The thing I was most disappointed in is we just had two good days of practice with our execution working on getting in our offense and making hard cuts and reads, and we did not execute much of anything,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It was kind of scattered and disorganized. I’m disappointed in that. I’ve got to take the blame for that. I’m the head coach.”
Milwaukee’s only other Christmas home game came during the franchise’s inaugural season in 1968. The Bucks were on the road for Christmas the last two seasons, losing at Philadelphia in 2019 and winning at New York in 2018.
Bucks players got a Christmas surprise before the game when they received videotaped messages from their families in a move orchestrated by team officials.
“It was definitely the best gift that I got today,” Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said.
Then they went out and delivered a dominant performance to bounce back from a season-opening 122-121 loss at Boston in which Celtics star Jayson Tatum banked in a go-ahead 3-pointer and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a potential tying free throw in the final second.
Antetkounmpo had 15 points and 13 rebounds against Golden State, but the two-time reigning NBA MVP shot 4 of 15 from the floor and 7 of 15 from the foul line.
Stephen Curry scored 19 points for Golden State, and rookie James Wiseman had 18. Andrew Wiggins had 12. Jordan Poole and Brad Wanamaker added 11 each.
Donte DiVincenzo and D.J. Augustin each scored 13 for Milwaukee. Holiday had 12 and Bobby Portis added 10.
Augustin made his Bucks debut after sitting out the Celtics game due to a strained left calf.
Next the Bucks visit the New York Knicks on Sunday to open a three-game road swing.