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Middleton, Bucks defeat Magic

AP photo Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) slips past Orlando Magic guard Dwayne Bacon (8) for a shot Sunday in Orlando, Fla.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 21 points, Bobby Portis added 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and 10 rebounds off the bench and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Orlando Magic 124-87 on Sunday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Milwaukee was again without star Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it mattered little as Middleton shot 8 of 13 from the field and added eight rebounds and five assists to help the Bucks lead wire to wire.

Middleton also hit two 3-pointers to give him 1,000 for his NBA career.

Milwaukee shot 48.9% and made 19 3-pointers to beat the Magic for the sixth straight time — five of those wins coming in Orlando. The Magic shot 37.2% and hit only 8 of 36 3s.

Jrue Holiday added 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee, which never saw its lead dip below 13 points in the second half. Milwaukee pulled its starters early in the fourth period and extended its lead to as much as 37 late.

Brynn Forbes added 13 points off Milwaukee’s bench. Pat Connaughton made all four of his shots and added 11 points.

Mo Bamba scored a career-best 21 points for Orlando, which lost its fifth straight game and 18th in 22 games. Bamba, who has gotten significantly more playing time since the team waived Khem Birch, shot 8 of 11 overall and 5 of 6 from 3-point range. He topped his previous high of 19 points set two games ago.

The Magic are 2-7 since trading Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and others at the NBA’s trade deadline on March 25.

GIANNIS’ GAINS

Antetokounmpo missed his fifth straight game with a sore left knee, but coach Mike Budenholzer said the reigning two-time MVP is trending upward.

The forward, who has 32 double-doubles and seven triple-doubles, worked out with the team Sunday morning in Orlando. Budenholzer said Antetokounmpo showed no signs of trouble with the knee and added, “I think he’s in a good place and is making progress.”

Antetokounmpo famously hates missing games for any reason, but the Milwaukee coach said the star understands the importance of getting healthy.

“He’s such a hard worker and he always has a plan for how he’s going to improve and attack a game or the season, so he’s in a good place,” Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo, who has missed seven of the last 12 games. “The conversations are positive and he understands the plan. Just keeping working your way through it, don’t rush it and have patience.”

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Minnesota on Wednesday night.

Magic: Host San Antonio on Monday night.

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