Antetokounmpo gets triple-double in Bucks' win
(TSX / STATS) -- MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo is still learning about the concept of "winning time," but fortunately for the Milwaukee Bucks' young star in the making, he has the perfect teacher in veteran Jason Terry.
Terry gave Antetokounmpo a valuable lesson Monday night, scoring 15 points off the bench, including two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch as the Bucks rallied late for an 89-79 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Milwaukee (42-39) clinched its first winning season since 2010.
"For the most part, we're a very young team, but at the same time, we've grown," Terry said. "We've grown a lot this season. For us to come back from where we were to be able to solidify a playoff position, it's huge for this organization and going forward."
Antetokounmpo had a pretty nice game himself, finishing with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season.
"He's been hovering around nine assists of late, so I think it's kind of cool for him to get another one," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said.
Milwaukee also got 16 points each from Greg Monroe and Tony Snell, and Khris Middleton added 15 for the Bucks, who shot 45.5 percent from the floor but made 16 of 28 from beyond the arc, including 9 of 15 in the second half.
Terry said that's a good sign for the team as it shifts focus to the postseason.
"We've been working a lot of on our outside game, understanding in the playoffs, they're going to take away the paint, and we have to keep them honest," Terry said. "If we're going to keep them honest and get to our strength, the shooters have to make shots. We don't have to force anything, but we have to make shots when the opportunities present themselves."
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Hornets (36-45) with 13 points. Charlotte shot 40 percent for the game, but that number was dragged down by a 5-of-20 fourth quarter.
"For three quarters we did well," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "We got really disorganized with our second unit there in the fourth and that was really the difference in the game. Their defense was good in the fourth, but a group that hasn't played together a lot ... we had to have organization and we didn't even get to the starting point.
"We had four or five possessions where they did a good job, but you can't play like that in this league. You have no shot."
Down by seven in the first quarter, Charlotte closed on a 16-3 run to take a 24-18 lead into the second. Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb scored seven each in the first half as the Hornets shot 45 percent and scored nine points off nine Milwaukee turnovers to take a 46-43 lead at halftime.
The Bucks went ice cold in the third quarter except for Snell, who made all three of his 3-point attempts and hit 5 of 7 shots overall to score 13 in the quarter.
But Milwaukee gave up seven more points off miscues and Charlotte shot 47 percent and led by five after three.
Antetokounmpo fed Monroe underneath for a reverse layup to tie the score at 68 with 10:34 to play, part of a 7-2 run and one of Antetokounmpo's three assists to open the quarter.
Middleton returned the favor a few minutes later, lobbying to Antetokounmpo for a dunk that let Milwaukee stretch the lead to five with 5:55 left. Terry sank two 3s in the next two minutes to make it a 10-point game.
"He's still got it," Kidd-Gilchrist said. "He still has the fire in him. ... He got hot in the fourth quarter."
Antetokounmpo fed Middleton for a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left, giving him his 10th assist of the night.
"I think that's kind of cool to reward a teammate with a triple-double," Kidd said. "(Terry) tried, then Khris steps up and gets him that 10th assist. It just showed the maturity of our group and the awareness of what's happening around them."
NOTES: PG Malcolm Brogdon and F John Henson returned to the Bucks' lineup and finished with five and two points, respectively. Brogdon missed the previous five games with back soreness, and Henson was sidelined for 10 games with a sprained left thumb. ... The Hornets were without PG Kemba Walker after the team decided to shut him down for the final two games of the season. Brian Roberts started in place of Walker, and he scored seven points. ... Milwaukee clinched a playoff berth over the weekend, but the Bucks' seed is still not determined. They are a half-game behind the fifth-place Atlanta Hawks and a game ahead of the seventh-place Indiana Pacers. Charlotte was eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend.
Updated April 10, 2017