MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks committed 23 turnovers — and won anyway.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co finished strong on Monday.
Antetokounmpo had a triple-double and scored his 10,000th career point, and the Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 111-98 to sweep the four-game season series.
Antetokounmpo had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season. He reached 10,000 points on a jump hook with 4:30 remaining in the fourth.
But the reigning NBA MVP also committed eight turnovers. The Bulls scored 24 points off Milwaukee’s miscues.
Antetokounmpo said he thinks a trip to Paris this week, as well as the rare late afternoon, weekday start, may have played a part in the team’s sloppy play.
“A game like this, it’s kind of a tricky game,” he said. “We’re about to leave to go to Paris, we’ve got to take care of our family here, make sure everything’s right. You’ve got to make sure you pack your bags, all that other stuff. It takes away from the game.”
Antetokounmpo shrugged off the turnovers to help the Bucks pull away late.
“Having turnovers doesn’t slow me down. I want to keep being aggressive,” he said.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer credited the Bulls’ aggressive defensive scheme.
“Chicago makes it hard on you,” he said. “They force a lot of turnovers, they’re active defensively.”
Khris Middleton added 24 points for Milwaukee, which has won 10 consecutive games over the Bulls dating to the 2017-18 season. It’s the Bucks’ longest winning streak over Chicago since the teams began playing in 1968.
The Bucks ran their league-best record to 39-6 with their seventh straight victory. Milwaukee shot 58 per cent, with Middleton connecting on 10 of 13 shots.
Zach LaVine had 24 points for Chicago, which shot just 37 per cent. Kris Dunn scored 15 points, and reserve Thaddeus Young added 14 points.
LaVine has scored at least 20 points in 11 consecutive games.
“We just kept fighting and scrapping,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. “If we have a normal shooting night from the three, it’s a different outcome.”
After a sloppy first half by both teams, the Bucks began to take control, opening the third quarter on a 13-4 run, sparked by Middleton’s eight points. Milwaukee’s lead grew to as many as 16 in the quarter before Chicago clawed back.