© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
The last time the Nuggets faced the Bucks, Denver’s afternoon ended in a huff of smoke. In that Nov. 11 matchup, Bucks center Brook Lopez drained eight 3s and followed several of them with his “take a drag of a cigarette and throw it away” celebration as Milwaukee won a high-scoring game.
A little more than a week later, the Nuggets made sure Lopez didn’t take any smoke breaks. But they did let Giannis Antetokounmpo go hog wild inside. Antetokounmpo scored 29 points, including 15 in the third quarter, as the Bucks overpowered the Nuggets 104-98.
For the second game in a row, the Nuggets went cold as the game went on. They scored just 42 points in the second half. Denver squandered a 10-point halftime lead by getting bogged down on the offensive end and letting Antetokounmpo live at the rim.
Nikola Jokic’s 3 cut Milwaukee’s lead to two with 49 seconds remaining, but on the Bucks’ ensuing possession, Khris Middleton drilled a fadeaway that put the game out of reach. Jokic scored a team-high 20 to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
Denver was never able to get into a rhythm after halftime. It wound up shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 12 of 41 from 3.
The Nuggets, losers of six of their last seven, dropped to 10-7 with the loss. They will try to avoid a three-game road sweep on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.