After experiencing no problems in the pregame workout, Antetokounmpo played in his second straight game after sitting out two because of his ankle. He made 11 of 16 shots and had seven assists and four blocks in 32 minutes.
“I’m going to keep having my mindset, play through the pain, push forward and do whatever it takes for my team to win,” Antetokounmpo said. “And, when it’s something really, really bad, I know they’re going to do a great job of pulling me out from the team and telling me to rest.”
Khris Middleton and George Hill added 17 points apiece for the Bucks. Hill was acquired from the Cavaliers in a three-team trade in early December.
With starting guard Malcom Brogdon out indefinitely with a foot injury, Hill is hoping to contribute more offensively.
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“Definitely. Not only driving and shooting, just being aggressive,” said Hill, who missed nine games into the early part of march with a groin strain. “You know, we are losing 15 points a game there. Guys have to step up and find those points somewhere, and the good teams do.”
“I think it all starts with Giannis,” Love said. “He makes it so tough on the defense. You try to collapse and they have the personnel to light you up. The have shooters all around. They’re a tough team to guard.”
Milwaukee improved to an NBA-best 55-19. The Raptors were 51-22 entering Sunday’s game at home against Charlotte.
The Bucks never trailed, jumping out to a 15-6 lead. Milwaukee led 68-55 at the half, but the Cavaliers pulled within 82-73 on David Nwaba’s one-hander from the lane.
Hill’s jumper from just inside the arc in the closing seconds put Milwaukee up 90-77 entering the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee lost at Cleveland on Wednesday, 107-102, without Antetokounmpo, when the Bucks used only eight players due to other injuries. “The Bucks came out and got hot early,” Cleveland coach Larry Drew said. “I think they made their first five 3s. They made shots early and we didn’t. We got ourselves behind and tried to dig out of the hole. We put together a couple of good runs but on the road, we just didn’t play well enough to come away with anything else.”
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