MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 17 rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 25 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-98 on Saturday night in a matchup of Eastern Conference rivals.
Antetokounmpo added eight assists for Milwaukee, which won for the 16th time in its last 18 games to improve its NBA-best record to 48-8.
The Bucks led 56-50 at the half before Antetokounmpo scored the first seven points of the third quarter to give Milwaukee a quick 13-point lead. The Bucks would go on to outscore the 76ers 37-23 in the period to pull away.
Joel Embiid, coming off a 39-point performance on Thursday night, had 17 points and 11 rebounds but shot just 5 for 18. Furkan Korkmaz also scored 17 points for the 76ers, who fell to 9-20 on the road.
Philadelphia lost All-Star point guard Ben Simmons early in the first quarter. Simmons, who missed the 76ers’ previous game with lower back tightness, headed to the locker room after making consecutive driving layups, the second with a little more than 7 minutes left in the opening quarter. He didn’t return after the injured flared up.
The Bucks got off to a scorching start, taking a 12-2 lead sparked by seven points from Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee led by as many as 11 in the quarter and held a 31-21 lead at the end.
Philadelphia pulled within 37-36 in the second before the Bucks used a 10-2 spurt to push the lead back to double digits.
76ers: Shot 4 of 19 from 3-point range in the first half. Made 17 of 50 overall (34%). …Embiid picked up two fouls in the first 50 seconds of the third quarter. … Shake Milton scored the team’s first eight points of the third quarter.
Bucks: F Kyle Korver sat out a third consecutive game with back soreness. “We’re hopeful that it’s not a significant period of time that he misses,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. Korver won’t travel with the team for an upcoming two-game road trip. …Bucks shot two free throws in first half, while Philadelphia attempted 14…Bucks Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson attended the game. … Antetokounmpo scored Milwaukee’s first 11 points in the third quarter. … The Bucks extended their regular season streak of scoring 100 points to 80 games, fifth-longest streak in NBA history. Milwaukee has also tallied 110 points in its last 17 games, the longest streak in the NBA this season.
76ers: Host Atlanta on Monday. The teams have split two games this season.
Bucks: Take on the Wizards in Washington on Monday. Milwaukee scored a season-high 151 points in its first meeting with Washington at home in January.