Coming in on a five-game win streak with their big three finally healthy, the Milwaukee Bucks continue their four-game homestand on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Bucks were able to hang on for a 124-115 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night thanks to a 34-point, 18-rebound effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo. As for Milwaukee's two other stars, Khris Middleton added 18 points and Jrue Holiday scored 15 while grabbing a career-high 13 boards.
"Jrue's capable of doing so much, it was an emphasis that our guards needed to help getting rebounds," Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said after the win. "He's good playing around the basket. He does a ton for us."
The Bucks were able to withstand a triple-double from Charlotte's LaMelo Ball, who finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Milwaukee bounced back against the Hornets after Charlotte had pulled off a surprising 138-109 blowout of the Bucks back on Jan. 6.
The Clippers are continuing their six-game Eastern Conference road trip after taking down the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday night, 108-103. Kawhi Leonard led the way with 33 points, Norman Powell dropped 27 on 7-for-11 shooting and Paul George chipped in 16 while grabbing 10 rebounds.
"We went small and I thought our small unit did a really good job of getting us back in the game," Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. "Norman Powell did a great job off the bench. He's instant offense and has been for a while. It really got us going."
The Clippers were once down 19 points in the second quarter of Tuesday's game. The Bulls, who commit the seventh-fewest turnovers in the league, turned it over 20 times.
Antetokounmpo sits third in the NBA in scoring behind Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic with 31.8 points per game while also ranking second in rebounds per game (12.2). Holiday leads the Bucks with 7.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while Brook Lopez paces the team with an average of 2.5 blocks following his five-block night against Charlotte.
For Los Angeles, Paul George leads the team with 23.3 points, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game in his 37 starts this season. Ivica Zubac leads the team with 10.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
The Bucks continue to miss Bobby Portis after he sustained a knee injury last week, and former Clipper Serge Ibaka remains out for personal reasons as the team searches for a trade partner.
The Clippers were without John Wall and Marcus Morris Sr. on Tuesday, and Wall currently has no timetable for return with an abdomen injury while Morris is dealing with a rib injury.
The two-game season series between these teams has been split in each of the past two seasons, with Thursday marking the first of two games this year. The Bucks lead a close all-time series 69-54 with the second matchup between these teams scheduled for Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.
--Field Level Media