Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up a seventh successive 30-point game against the Brooklyn Nets as he propelled the Milwaukee Bucks to victory.
In the first meeting between these teams at the Barclays Center since last season’s overtime win for the Bucks in the playoffs, Antetokounmpo stole the show on his return from a one-game illness absence.
Milwaukee lost to the Toronto Raptors without their talisman, a second straight defeat after a shock reverse to the Detroit Pistons, but the reigning NBA champions snapped that mini losing streak in style with a 121-109 triumph on Friday.
Antetokounmpo had 31 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. He went into the game having recorded 30 or more points and at least 10 rebounds in each of his previous six appearances against Brooklyn, including postseason meetings.
The Bucks were without several key players, including Jrue Holiday, and coach Mike Budenholzer due to covid-19 health and safety protocols, but they just had too much in the form of Antetokounmpo, who was ably supported by Bobby Portis, who had a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds.
The Nets has snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday by beating the Indiana Pacers, with Kyrie Irving returning.
However, Irving was not available for this home game, as he cannot play in New York state due to not being vaccinated against covid-19.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points and James Harden added 16, but the Bucks had too much as they moved onto 26-15 for the season, though the Nets remain ahead of Milwaukee in second place in the Eastern Conference.