Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for his third consecutive triple-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Washington Wizards 133-122 Monday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
The Bucks pulled away late after letting a 26-point, third-quarter lead slip to five midway through the fourth. When the Wizards got within seven in the final minutes, Antetokounmpo scored the next four points to make it a double-digit game again.
“I’m not Kobe,” Antetokounmpo said. “I just try to be a basketball player. I don’t look at the clock and say, ‘Oh now we are up two or we’re down two, let me take over the game.’ No, I just make the right decision at the right moment. Sometimes it’s going to be score, sometimes it’s going to be pass.”
Antetokounmpo combined for 64 points, 26 rebounds and 21 assists in the two-game series at Washington that Milwaukee swept. The back-to-back NBA MVP also had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the first triple-double of this run against the New York Knicks last week.
“He’s been in a good place mentally,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The way he’s playing and creating for others and creating for himself and getting to the free throw line, he’s in a good place. He’s playing great basketball.
Antetokounmpo became the third player this season with a triple-double in three games in a row, joining Washington’s Russell Westbrook, who did it twice, and Miami’s Jimmy Butler. His seventh career 30-point triple-double passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in team history, and he’s the first Bucks player to have three triple-doubles in a row.
“It’s not always about scoring,” Antetokounmpo said. “You can manipulate the game in different ways: passing, finding your teammates, putting them in the right spot.”
The Bucks kept pace with Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia and are now two games back with Brooklyn in between.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 37 points after sitting out Saturday to rest a sore left knee. Russell Westbrook had 23 points and a season-high 17 assists.