MILWAUKEE (AP) — Facing a potential second loss at home in two nights, Giannis Antetokounmpo unleashed a furious rally. When he’d finished, his teammates did the rest.
Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 18 rebounds, and the Bucks overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 135-129 on Saturday night.
“I was feeling relaxed,” said Antetokounmpo, who scored 14 points in the final period and heard chants of “MVP! MVP!” each time he stepped to the free-throw line. “I had a little bit of energy saved up for the fourth quarter.”
But the Bucks, who dropped a game to Phoenix on Friday, roared back in this one, which featured 26 lead changes. They took it for the final time when Antetokounmpo hit a pair of free throws with 2:44 left that made it 123-122.
“Giannis did a hell of a job keeping us in that game, and we kind of helped him out at the end,” Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe said.
Khris Middleton hit a key 3-pointer, Bledsoe drove to the hoop for a contested layup and Malcolm Brogdon knocked down a 3 off a drive and dish from Bledsoe with 8.9 seconds to play to put the game out of reach.
“If I’m going to have the ball at the end of the game in situations like that, I’ve got to be able to know when to score and when to pass,” said Bledsoe, who had 20 points and 10 assists. “Malcolm did a great job being in the right spot, and knocked it down.”