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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had a career-high 39 points and the Milwaukee Bucks had no trouble beating the Washington Wizards 123-96 on Friday night.
Milwaukee scored a season-high in the first half to lead 73-58 and cruised to victory. It was the most points given up in a half this season by the Wizards.
Antetokounmpo made 12 of 19 shots and 15 of 17 free throws with eight rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes. With the Bradley Center crowd loudly chanting "M-V-P," the 6-foot-11 forward missed a free throw with just over 6 minutes left that would have given him 40 points.
The Bucks led 109-82 at the time, and two possessions later Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd removed Antetokounmpo for the rest of the game.
John Wall and Otto Porter each scored 18 points for Washington, but the Wizards trailed 100-78 after three quarters and neither played in the fourth quarter. Wall had 10 assists in just under 32 minutes.
Jabari Parker added 21 points and eight rebounds for Milwaukee, which had lost five of seven. Malcolm Brogdon made all seven of his shots for 17 points, and added seven assists in 29 minutes.
Bradley Beal missed seven of 10 shots and scored only 10 points in 31 minutes for the Wizards. He came into the game averaging 22.7 points.
The Bucks took the lead for good, 17-16, on a free throw by Parker with 6:03 left in the first quarter, and extended it to 56-36 midway through the second quarter. Washington never got within single digits the rest of the game.
Antetokounmpo's previous high was 34 points, done twice, the latest on Nov. 29, against Cleveland.
Before the game, Washington coach Scott Brooks said the key for his team was to stop Milwaukee from scoring inside, but the Bucks outscored the Wizards 66-46 in the paint.
In addition, Milwaukee's reserves outscored Washington's bench, 42-28.
Wizards: Porter started after missing the second half of Wednesday's game at Chicago with back spasms. ... Washington beat the Bucks 110-105 on Dec. 10.
Bucks: F Michael Beasley missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained left foot. ... G Rashad Vaughn sprained his left ankle during shootaround Friday and missed the game. ... G Khris Middleton, who underwent surgery on his left hamstring before the season, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he expects to play this year, but acknowledged he was a long way off from playing.
Milwaukee played two games with both Chicago and Cleveland before starting this back-to-back series with the Wizards. The Bucks beat Chicago twice and lost two to the Cavaliers. "I've never seen anything like it in my playing or coaching career," Brooks said of the quirky schedule. "It's almost like a playoff mentality." The Bucks and Wizards play four times in 32 days this season.
Wizards: Host Bucks on Monday.
Bucks: At Wizards on Monday.
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