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Wednesday’s Milwaukee Bucks-Houston Rockets matchup was billed as a battle of MVP favorites.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden did not disappoint.
Both had monster individual performances as the Bucks pulled out a 116-109 win in Houston.
Greek Freak’s mean fast ball
Antetokounmpo also got the best of Harden with this errant dodgeball throw that careened off Harden’s head in the fourth quarter.
The fast ball clearly wasn’t intentional. But when the ball bounced back to Antetokounmpo, who immediately found Ersan Ilyasova for an open 3-pointer, it confirmed that it was the Greek Freak’s night.
And it was.
Giannis posts 20-20 in win
Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points, 21 rebounds and five assists in the win, negating the efforts of Harden’s 14th straight 30-point game.
Harden finished with 41 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while falling short of a dubious triple double with nine turnovers.
He was gracious in the loss and able to laugh off his blow to the head.
“Hell no, I didn’t see it coming,” Harden said. “It hurt. … I wish I would have seen it.”
Bucks rally in second half
The Rockets opened a 60-54 halftime lead, but a dominant third quarter from Milwaukee proved to be the difference. Antetokounmpo scored nine of his 27 in the third as the Bucks turned a six-point deficit into a 92-83 lead.
The loss snapped a 10-game home winning streak for the Rockets as the Bucks continue to prove their first-place standing in the Eastern Conference is no fluke.
The Rockets have been red-hot lately behind Harden’s historic tear, posting wins over the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets, the top two teams in the Western Conference.
But the beasts of the East proved too much on Wednesday.
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