NBA: Absent Antetokounmpo and high-riding Bucks routed by Magic 103-83

(REUTERS) – The visiting Orlando Magic took advantage of the absence of Milwaukee’s “Greek freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, snapping the Bucks’ six-game winning streak with a 103-83 win in the National Basketball Association on Saturday night (Feb 9).

Jonathan Isaac led the Magic in scoring for the first time this season with 17 points. Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Terrence Ross also scored 15. Ross is averaging 22 points over his last five games.

Orlando (24-32) have won four of their last five and are now two and a half games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Eric Bledsoe led Milwaukee (41-14) with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Malcolm Brogdon added 14 points. It was the Eastern Conference and overall NBA leaders’ most lopsided loss and the fewest points they have scored all season.

The Bucks had won six straight and 12 of their last 13 coming into the night, but they were missing 27 points per game from Antetokounmpo. He was resting his right knee and is expected back as soon as Monday against the Chicago Bulls.

Milwaukee should also get a boost from newly acquired forward Nikola Mirotic, who is still recovering from a calf injury. He has missed the last nine games, including the Bucks’ 122-107 win over Dallas on Friday. He was traded from New Orleans just before Thursday’s deadline and is expected to make his debut for the Bucks soon.

Orlando took hold of the game midway through the first quarter and held a double-digit advantage for much of the second and third quarters. They led by as much as 25 in the fourth.

The Bucks had cut the deficit to 69-60 with 4:42 left in the third, but Orlando hit back-to-back threes and regained control with a 10-2 run.

The Magic outshot the Bucks to a 59-49 half-time lead. Orlando made 53.2 per cent of their field-goal attempts in the first half and held Milwaukee to just 36.7 per cent.

Milwaukee jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game, but the Magic responded with a 20-4 run to take the lead. Ross got hot in the second quarter, scoring 13 of the Magic’s 39 points in the period, and Orlando upped their lead to as much as 12 points in the frame.

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