Damian Lillard, Bucks escape shorthanded Clippers

Damian Lillard Bucks beat Clippers NBA

Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) drives towards Los Angeles Clippers heart Daniel Theis in the course of the first half of an NBA basketball recreation in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photograph/Eric Thayer)

LOS ANGELES — Damian Lillard scored 16 of his 35 factors within the fourth quarter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ first victory on their California street journey, 124-117 over the shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

Lillard hit three of his seven 3-pointers within the fourth, whereas Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 factors, 10 assists and 7 rebounds because the Bucks’ famous person duo took over the sport down the stretch. Antetokounmpo and Lillard turned solely the second pair of teammates since 1980 to file no less than 30 factors and 10 assists apiece in the identical recreation, based on the NBA.

“It’s how we work in apply,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “We obtained loads of good pictures down the stretch. Tonight it labored, and it’s one thing we’re going to should do shifting ahead.”

READ: Bucks’ latest surge because of improved protection below Doc Rivers

From the beginning of the fourth quarter, Antetokounmpo and Lillard both scored or assisted on 31 consecutive factors for Milwaukee, decimating the Clippers with the two-man recreation that the Bucks are relying on to make them championship rivalry.

“I believe it’s getting a lot better,” Lillard mentioned of his connection to Antetokounmpo of their first season as teammates. “To start out the season, I believe lots of people needed it to simply click on and occur instantly. However I believe any time you place two guys collectively who’ve all the time been the decision-maker, all the time had their fingers on the ball for years and years and years, it’s going to take time for us to discover ways to play with one another.”

Malik Beasley added 17 factors because the Bucks rebounded from back-to-back losses to Golden State and the Lakers by outlasting the Clippers, who performed with out Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

James Harden had 13 factors on 5-of-16 taking pictures and 11 assists whereas taking part in with out his personal two famous person teammates, who each sat out of the staff’s second house recreation in lower than 24 hours. Leonard and George performed extensively in Los Angeles’ win over Chicago on Saturday afternoon, and the Clippers determined to relaxation Leonard’s sore left groin and George’s sore left knee.

“These two guys, they’re nice gamers, and we perceive that,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue mentioned of Lillard and Antetokounmpo. “They’d recreation. I believed Dame set the tone early after which took over the sport late. As soon as he obtained going, it was exhausting to cease him. We tried to blitz, tried to do some various things, however he had it going and made some large pictures.”

Norman Powell scored 20 of his 26 factors within the second half for the Clippers, who already had been with out injured Russell Westbrook. With greater than 57 factors per recreation faraway from their lineup, the Clippers nonetheless gave a tricky recreation to a different prime staff earlier than the ultimate minutes.

Earlier than the sport, coach Tyronn Lue known as the Clippers’ weekend scheduling “very excessive.” The Clippers received’t face as many scheduling obstacles subsequent 12 months after they transfer out of the world they share with the Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings into the brand new Intuit Dome in Inglewood.

Six days after the Bucks’ 113-106 win over the Clippers in Milwaukee, Lillard and Antetokounmpo lastly took cost down the stretch of the rematch to keep away from the Bucks’ first three-game dropping streak in a month.

Neither staff led by greater than eight factors all day till Lillard hit three free throws and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions with lower than two minutes to play.

Harden wasn’t at his greatest, lacking seven consecutive pictures within the first half and ending 1 for six on 3-pointers.

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P.J. Tucker scored his first basket since Nov. 14 for the Clippers within the first quarter, ending with seven factors. The veteran hasn’t cracked the Clippers’ rotation since he was acquired from Philadelphia together with Harden, and he was fined $75,000 by the NBA for publicly campaigning for a commerce close to the deadline.


Clippers: Host Minnesota on Tuesday night time.

Bucks: At Sacramento on Tuesday night time.

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