July 18, 2024

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Milwaukee Bucks pull off 112-107 win over Minnesota Timberwolves

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DOUBLE-DOUBLE. Giannis Antetokounmpo sizzles with a double-double performance to eke out a 112-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night (Saturday, February 24, in the Philippines). NBA PHOTO

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the charge as the Milwaukee Bucks emerged victorious with a 112-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, marking an impressive post-All-Star break surge for the reigning champions.

Antetokounmpo showcased his dominance with a stellar performance, accumulating 33 points and 13 rebounds to secure the Bucks’ victory. The win propels Milwaukee to a 36-21 record under new head coach Doc Rivers, who, despite a 4-7 record since his appointment, is guiding the team through a period of adjustment.

The Timberwolves, now tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference lead at 39-17, faced a determined Bucks team that seized control of the game in the third quarter. Malik Beasley, a former Timberwolves player, played a pivotal role in the Bucks’ surge, scoring all 14 of his points in the third quarter. The Bucks outscored the Wolves 36-13 during this period, building a significant lead.

“We’ve got to be better,” expressed Timberwolves coach Chris Finch. Despite the hustle, the Wolves couldn’t overcome the Bucks’ strong third-quarter performance. Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Rudy Gobert added 12 points and an impressive 19 rebounds.

Anthony Edwards, with three crucial 3-pointers in the final minutes, attempted to spark a late comeback for the Timberwolves. However, Damian Lillard, who had a solid all-around game with 21 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds, sealed the victory for the Bucks with a clutch 21-footer with just 10.3 seconds left on the clock.

The game, selected for a national broadcast on ESPN, featured a high-energy crowd that matched the intensity of the matchup. Beasley, facing his former team, had a slow start but ignited a crucial run in the third quarter, showcasing the importance of ball movement in the Bucks’ offensive strategy.

Despite missing key player Khris Middleton for the sixth straight game due to an ankle injury, the Bucks managed to secure the win. Rivers emphasized the importance of leaning on their defense down the stretch, and the team is starting to believe in that philosophy.

As the Bucks continue to adjust to Rivers’ coaching style and integrate key players, the win over the Timberwolves serves as a statement. The Bucks are solidifying their position in the Eastern Conference, currently holding third place, and they look forward to a challenging matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers in their next game.

The Timberwolves, on the other hand, will have a quick turnaround as they host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. The battle at the top of the Western Conference intensifies as teams jockey for playoff positioning in the second half of the NBA season.

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