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Antetokounmpo has triple-double, Bucks rip Warriors 118-99

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks made sure coach Mike Budenholzer had an easy first night back on the job.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to help Milwaukee rout the Golden State Warriors 118-99 on Thursday night in Budenholzer’s return from the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols. Antetokounmpo had his third triple-double of the season and 28th of his career.

Budenholzer missed four games while in the health and safety protocols, with assistant Darvin Ham taking over as acting head coach. The Bucks went 1-3.

“I think Coach Darvin did a great job stepping up, leading the team, coaching the team and keeping us accountable,” Antetokounmpo said. “But . . .

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Giannis returns, Bucks blow out Nets 121-109 in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) — Back at the site of an overtime thriller in the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks quickly made clear this one wasn’t going down to the wire.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points in his return from a one-game absence, Khris Middleton added 15 of his 20 in the third quarter and the Bucks blew out the Brooklyn Nets 121-109 on Friday night.

Bobby Portis scored 20 of his 25 in the first half to help the Bucks snap a two-game skid. The last loss came without Antetokounmpo, who didn’t . . .

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Bucks rally late in Antetokounmpo’s return for 117-113 win

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo said he tried to set low expectations for himself when he returned to action Saturday for the first time since entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Dec. 12.

So much for that.

In front of a national television audience on Christmas, Antetokounmpo put up exactly the kind of numbers one would expect from . . .

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Back in Phoenix, back to even: Suns, Bucks ready for Game 5

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns had designs on coming home with a chance to win their first championship. Khris Middleton’s shots and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s swat ended those thoughts.

Now an NBA Finals that seemed very much in the Suns’ control when they left Phoenix a week ago returns to Arizona as a tossup.

The Milwaukee Bucks have taken the last two games to even things up, with Game 5 set for Saturday night. “It’s two teams left in the league now playing for an NBA championship on the biggest stage,” Bucks forward . . .

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Bucks get confidence boost in win without Giannis scoring 40

MILWAUKEE (AP) — As remarkable as Giannis Antetokounmpo has been in delivering MVP-caliber performances during the NBA Finals while playing with an injured knee, there have been games in which he was good but not great.

Good hadn’t been good enough for a Milwaukee Bucks win — until Game 4.

And while Antetokounmpo will likely need to be great again, his teammates must prove they can deliver on the road the way they have at home. The Bucks and Phoenix Suns are tied 2-2 as the series returns to . . .

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Chris Paul catches turnover bug at bad time for the Suns

The ball was in Chris Paul’s hands with 35 seconds left and his team needed a bucket to tie or take the lead in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

The Phoenix Suns — and the 11-time All-Star — wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

The point guard did one crossover dribble to shake Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday. Then he immediately did another to try and lose Giannis Antetokounmpo.

What happened next was not what the Suns or Paul expected. He just … fell down. The ball bounced away and so . . .

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