MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks’ 18-game winning streak ended Monday night when Seth Curry and Kristaps Porzingis each scored 26 points to help the Dallas Mavericks hang on for a 120-116 victory even without star guard Luka Dončić.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 17, 2019
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 48 points and 14 rebounds, but got little support as Milwaukee lost for the first time since a 103-100 setback at Utah on Nov 8.
The winning streak was their longest since a franchise-record 20 consecutive victories by the 1970-71 championship team that featured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, and Oscar Robertson.
Dallas led comfortably for most of the fourth quarter until the final half-minute. Tim Hardaway Jr. made the second of two free throws to make it 119-114 with 7.6 seconds left. Antetokounmpo scored on a layup and was fouled, but missed the free throw. Sterling Brown grabbed the offensive rebound, but his putback was blocked by Porzingis.
Dončić sat out with a sprained right ankle, while the Bucks were missing injured point guard Eric Bledsoe.
Milwaukee trailed 86-76 entering the fourth quarter and got no closer than seven until the final 23 seconds. Dallas was 16 of 41 from 3-point range, including four 3s each by Curry and Porzingis. The Bucks went 11 of 41 from beyond the arc.
Kyle Korver added a season-high 17 points for Milwaukee, going 5 of 7 on 3-pointers.
Milwaukee trailed 69-67 when Antetokounmpo went to the bench with 6:32 left in the third quarter, having scored all 11 of the Bucks’ points in the period. Dallas led 75-69 when Antetokounmpo returned after a two-minute breather, and the Mavericks pushed the margin to 80-69.
The Bucks, who trailed by 14 early in the second quarter, finished the first half with an 11-4 run to pull to 59-56 at the break. Antetokounmpo had 21 first-half points, but the remainder of the team was just 14 of 41 from the field.
Dallas was 7 of 13 beyond the arc in the first quarter en route to a 36-22 lead entering the second period.