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Milwaukee Bucks firing head coach Adrian Griffin after just 43 games and 30 wins: report

The Milwaukee Bucks are making a change at head coach, reportedly firing Adrian Griffin only 43 games into his tenure.

Griffin’s ousting, reported Tuesday by ESPN, comes despite the star-powered Bucks boasting a 30-13 record, good for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Joe Prunty, in his second stint as a Bucks assistant, will take over as interim head coach, as he did in 2018 following Jason Kidd’s firing. Doc Rivers is said to be among a select few coaches the Bucks will now consider for the full-time job.

Led by two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and offseason acquisition Damian Lillard, the Bucks rank second in the NBA in scoring 124.6 points per game.

They struggled defensively under Griffin, however, surrendering 120.5 points per game to rank 25th in the league. Milwaukee allowed 113.3 points per game last season, which ranked 14th.

The Bucks failed to fix their shortcomings despite enviable anchors in the 6-11 Antetokounmpo, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and 7-foot Brook Lopez, who finished as the runner-up for the honor last season.

They’ve allowed at least 135 points in three of their last four games.

The Bucks traded point guard Jrue Holiday, a five-time All-Defensive Team selection, to acquire Lillard, a score-first guard with seven All-Star nods, from Portland.

Milwaukee hired Griffin, a former player and longtime NBA assistant, after firing Mike Budenholzer following an upset loss to the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2023 playoffs. Budenholzer led the Bucks to an NBA championship in 2021 and went 271-120 over five regular seasons.

Even still, Budenholzer’s winning percentage of .693 paled in comparison to Griffin’s .698, which represents the best mark by a coach who was fired midseason since the Cavaliers’ David Blatt in 2015-16.

Milwaukee is viewed as an NBA Finals favorite in what many consider to be a championship-or-bust season. Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game, while Lillard is averaging 25.3 points and 6.9 assists.

Sitting atop the Eastern Conference are the balanced Boston Celtics (34-10), who rank fourth in the NBA in both scoring average (120.3 points per game) and points per game allowed (110.6). Among the Celtics’ key offseason additions was Holiday, whom they acquired from Portland shortly after the Bucks sent him to the rebuilding Trail Blazers.

Next up for the Bucks is a home game Wednesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’re scheduled to play the Nets at Barclays Center on March 21 and the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 7.