The Milwaukee Bucks were without reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on Tuesday night for their 151-131 win against the Washington Wizards.
That, though, didn’t stop them from setting a franchise record.
The Bucks scored a staggering 88 points in the first half, cruising to a 25-point lead at the break and marking the most points ever scored in a single half in franchise history. It’s also the most points scored in the first half by any team so far this season.
The historic night wouldn’t have been possible without Khris Middleton.
Middleton dropped a career-high 51 points and 10 rebounds in the win, shooting 16-of-26 from the field. Twenty-eight of his 51 points came in the first half, too, where he went a perfect 6-of-6 from behind the arc at Fiserv Forum.
"My teammates are special people. No other guys I'd rather play with in this league."— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) January 29, 2020
Khris Middleton acknowledges his teammates after pouring in a career-best 51 points. pic.twitter.com/k8RSfNU8tP
While Milwaukee could seemingly do whatever it wanted offensively in the opening two quarters — it shot just better than 60 percent from the field while amassing a 32-point lead midway through the second — Washington was putting up points, too. After scoring 35 in the second quarter, the Wizards entered halftime with 63 team points.
Even against an Antetokounmpo-less Bucks, however, that’s apparently not even close to enough points to keep up.
The Wizards did cut the game back down to single digits briefly in the fourth quarter, but it was simply too late. Milwaukee secured the 20-point win behind a late run to close the game, picking up its ninth straight victory.
Eric Bledsoe added 34 points and 10 assists for the Bucks, and Donte DiVincenzo added 16 points off the bench. Antetokounmpo was sidelined due to soreness in his right shoulder.
Beal led the Wizards with 47 points, shooting 17-of-18 from the free throw line and 4-of-9 from behind the arc. Thomas Bryant added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Isaiah Thomas finished with 16 points.
“It was just a special, special night for Khris Middleton,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, via Fox Sports Wisconsin. “51 [points] on 26 shots is impressive, and you know, we kinda needed him. It got to eight at one point I think in the fourth quarter, so phenomenal effort by Khris and the group.”
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