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Middleton, Portis lead Bucks past slumping Magic 124-87

(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 10:02 PM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 21 points, Bobby Portis added 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and 10 rebounds off the bench and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Orlando Magic 124-87 on Sunday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Milwaukee was again without star Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it mattered little as Middleton shot 8 of 13 from the field and added eight rebounds and five assists to help the Bucks lead wire to wire. Middleton also hit two 3-pointers to give him 1,000 for his NBA career.

“He’s the ultimate professional, so consistent, a great scorer and he does it in a lot of different ways,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said of Middleton. “I think, at the same time, he’s a great leader. He’s really taken on a more impactful leadership role. The scoring and the 3s, everybody sees, but I like how he’s taken on leadership.”

Milwaukee shot 48.9% and made 19 3-pointers to beat the Magic for the sixth straight time — five of those wins coming in Orlando. The Magic shot 37.2% and hit only 8 of 36 3s.

Jrue Holiday added 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee, which never saw its lead dip below 13 points in the second half. Milwaukee pulled its starters early in the fourth period and extended its lead to as much as 37 late.

Brynn Forbes added 13 points off Milwaukee’s bench. Pat Connaughton made all four of his shots and added 11 points.

“The focus of the group was good and both ends of the court some good things were happening,” Budenholzer said. “So, a lot of positives.”

Mo Bamba scored a career-best 21 points for Orlando, which lost its fifth straight game and 18th in 22 games. Bamba, who has gotten significantly more playing time since the team waived Khem Birch, shot 8 of 11 overall and 5 of 6 from 3-point range. He topped his previous high of 19 points set two games ago.

The Magic are 2-7 since trading Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and others at the NBA’s trade deadline on March 25.

“I just told the guys that we’re going to have some nights like this because it’s where we’re at,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “Listen, it was a bad performance, I’m in charge of the team and we’ve got to do better.”

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