Antetokounmpo, Bucks handle sliding Pelicans, 135-110
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a former NBA Most Valuable Player and always in the mix to win the award again.
This year is no exception. That ability was on full display Sunday evening in Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo buried the New Orleans Pelicans, scoring 50 points with 13 rebounds and four assists in an easy 135-110 victory for the fourth straight win for the Bucks and the eighth straight loss for New Orleans.
Antetokounmpo was 20 of 26 from the field.
Playing the second of back-to-back games and playing without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, the Pelicans had virtually no chance against an elite, well rested Eastern Conference team.
For all intents and purposes, the Bucks put the game away early, racing to a 37-19 lead over New Orleans after one quarter.
It was a wire-to-wire job with the Bucks never trailing.
New Orleans got within five points in the second quarter but got no closer.
The Bucks led by as many as 27 points and shot 55 percent from the field.
Once again, the Pelicans were hammered on the boards, an ongoing problem as Milwaukee outboarded New Orleans 57-38. The Bucks outscored the Pelicans 58-44 in the paint.
Jose Alvarado, pushed into a starting role, led New Orleans with 18 points while Jonas Valanciunas and Trey Murphy each scored 16 points.
Perhaps the bright spot was seldom used Kira Lewis Jr., who scored 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field with six rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes in his first game action since Jan. 18.
With the loss, New Orleans falls into a three-way tie for seventh in the Western Conference with Dallas and Phoenix. New Orleans is just a half game ahead of Utah and a game ahead of Oklahoma City.
It will not get any easier as the Pelicans travel to Denver to take on the Western Conference leading Nuggets Tuesday evening. The Pelicans split a pair of games with the Nuggets in New Orleans.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…