Bucks Surpass Timberwolves 112-107 with Antetokounmpo Scoring 33 Points

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By Md Afraz Alam

Giannis Antetokounmpo showcased his dominance with 33 points and 13 rebounds, propelling the Milwaukee Bucks to a 112-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, marking their resurgence following the All-Star break.

The defeat dropped Minnesota into a tie with Oklahoma City for the Western Conference lead at 39-17, with the Thunder securing a commanding win over Washington earlier in the day.

In a late surge, Anthony Edwards drained three crucial 3-pointers in the final 1:58, providing the Wolves with a late opportunity after trailing by 17 points late in the third quarter.

However, Damian Lillard sealed the victory for the Bucks with a clutch 21-footer with just 10.3 seconds remaining, securing a five-point lead.

Lillard, despite a challenging shooting night at 8-for-23, contributed 21 points, 10 assists, and a season-high nine rebounds, overshadowing his shooting struggles to help the Bucks (36-21) under their new coach, Doc Rivers, who now holds a 4-7 record.

Malik Beasley played a pivotal role for the Wolves, scoring all 14 of his points in the third quarter, where the Bucks outscored their opponents 36-13.

Despite the spirited performance, Wolves’ coach Chris Finch expressed the need for improvement, emphasizing the team’s hustle but acknowledging a lack of sharpness.

Both sides boasted two All-Stars, with the game being broadcast nationally on ESPN in the late-night window. The energetic crowd, including a significant number of Bucks fans, reflected the magnitude of the matchup.

Beasley’s explosive third-quarter performance, fueled by four 3-pointers, facilitated a crucial rally for the Bucks, highlighting the significance of ball movement.

The Bucks, currently occupying third place in the Eastern Conference, are still adjusting under Rivers’ leadership following the midseason coaching change. Khris Middleton’s absence due to injury further complicates their efforts.

Lillard, despite his recent accolades at the All-Star Game, is yet to find his rhythm alongside Antetokounmpo. However, Lopez’s early 3-pointers and Antetokounmpo’s offensive prowess provided the Bucks with a solid foundation.

Rivers emphasized the team’s defensive resilience down the stretch, indicating a growing belief among the players.

The Wolves, playing the first of seven consecutive home games, struggled to shake off the post-break rust, with Edwards acknowledging a sense of complacency in the second half.

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