Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton lead defending champion Bucks past Christian Wood, Rockets

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  • Houston Rockets
    Houston Rockets
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Milwaukee Bucks
    Milwaukee Bucks
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  • Jrue Holiday
    Jrue Holiday
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  • Khris Middleton
    Khris Middleton
    American basketball player
  • Christian Wood
    Christian Wood
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

Houston center Christian Wood played well Wednesday versus one of his former NBA teams, but the former Milwaukee player didn’t have nearly enough help as Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and the veteran-laden Bucks routed the young Rockets, 126-106 (box score).

The defending champions improved to 20-13 with the victory, which came without two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (health and safety protocols). Meanwhile, the rebuilding Rockets fell for the fourth time in five games, dropping them to 10-22 on the 2021-22 season.

Holiday led the Bucks with 24 points and 10 assists, and he shot 10-of-17 from the field (58.8%) and 2-of-5 on 3-pointers (40.0%) in Wednesday’s win, while Middleton added 23 points and 6 assists in 28 minutes. Veteran wing Wesley Matthews scored 16 points off the bench for Milwaukee in only 20 minutes, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers (80.0%).

Wood had 20 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes to lead Houston, but his 0-of-6 showing from 3-point range felt appropriate on a night that the Rockets made just 13-of-45 as a team on 3-pointers (28.9%). By comparison, Milwaukee connected on 17-of-46 from long range (37.0%).

Wood connected on 6-of-7 shots (85.7%) from inside the arc and 8-of-11 on free throws (72.7%). Both were well above his season averages.

Besides Wood, other double-digit scorers for Houston were:

  • Eric Gordon: 12 points, 4-of-9 shooting (44.4%), 2-of-6 on 3-pointers (33.3%), 6 assists in 24 minutes

  • Garrison Mathews: 10 points, 2-of-5 on 3-pointers (40.0%), 6 rebounds in 27 minutes

  • Alperen Sengun: 10 points, 4-of-6 shooting (66.7%), 8 rebounds, 4 assists in 24 minutes

  • KJ Martin: 10 points, 5-of-12 shooting (41.7%), 2-of-5 on 3-pointers (40.0%), 6 assists, 5 rebounds in 28 minutes

The Rockets were again short-handed on Wednesday, with the expected starting backcourt of Jalen Green (left hamstring strain) and Kevin Porter Jr. (left thigh contusion) still sidelined versus the Bucks. But that situation should change soon, with Green set to return on Thursday in Indiana and Porter potentially in the following game.

For now, scroll on for highlights and postgame reaction from Milwaukee. Tipoff in Indianapolis is set for 6:00 p.m. CST on Thursday.

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Highlights

Stephen Silas

Eric Gordon

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