NBA

I'm not built around stats – Giannis unfazed about double-double streak ending

By Sports Desk December 01, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo was unfazed about seeing his double-double streak come to an end during the Milwaukee Bucks' 137-96 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Antetokounmpo had 26 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes in the victory on Saturday, falling just short of a 20th consecutive double-double.

But the reigning NBA MVP said he was focused on winning, with the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks improving to 17-3 after an 11th straight victory.

"It doesn't really matter. That's not how I'm built. I'm not built around stats," Antetokounmpo told a news conference.

"I think the record can talk for itself. Out of 20 games, we win 17. We can always get better … I'm just here to win."

The Bucks led 66-49 at half-time against the Hornets before also outscoring Charlotte in the third and fourth quarters.

It meant the likes of Khris Middleton (15), Dragan Bender (12), Ersan Ilyasova (11), D.J. Wilson (11) and George Hill (10) contributed off the bench, combining for 59 points.

"Obviously the game plan and the offense that we have, it makes it easy to move the ball and everybody touches the ball, everybody scores the ball," Antetokounmpo said.

"It was just good that we had a lead and we came out in the third quarter and extended that lead and we gave a chance to guys like Dragan, Fran, D.J..

"They came in, they played, they were knocking down shots, they were having fun, so I think as a team we got better."

The Bucks will face the struggling New York Knicks at Fiserv Forum on Monday.

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    Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle does not expect Luka Doncic to play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday after suffering a right ankle sprain in their overtime defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

    Doncic played fewer than two minutes of the Mavericks' 122-118 loss to the Heat, which dropped them to a record of 17-8.

    The Slovenian is enjoying a breakout second season that has him in the Most Valuable Player discussion. Doncic is averaging 29.3 points per game to go with 8.9 assists and 9.6 rebounds. 

    However, he is now unlikely to square off against reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo when the Mavericks visit the Bucks, who lead the Eastern Conference after compiling 18 straight wins.

    Speaking in a media conference, Carlisle said: "Luka has a right ankle sprain, we hope it's not serious, X-rays were negative."

    The Mavericks trailed 73-50 at half-time but produced a stirring second-half fightback to force the extra five-minute period.

    Asked what he said to his team in the interval with Doncic sidelined, Carlisle replied: "Don't have to say much, guys knew we were getting outplayed and outworked and we turned it around in the second half.

    "We needed to make one more play or have one more ball bounce our way or get one more call.

    "It's disappointing [Doncic's injury] but, next man up. Obviously we lose a guy that's a great player, we don't know for how long, and I don't expect him to play against Milwaukee, that's just an opinion that's not a media release or anything like that, but we've got to circle the wagons with the guys that we have and play like we did in the second half, pretty simple. "

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    The Milwaukee Bucks stretched their winning streak in the NBA to 18 on Saturday, while the Los Angeles Clippers suffered a surprise loss.

    The Bucks cruised past the Cleveland Cavaliers 125-108 for an 18th straight win, which is the second longest streak in the team's history.

    Milwaukee were once again led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 29 points in just 24 minutes.

    The Clippers' four-game winning run came to an end in a 109-106 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

    The Bulls claimed just their 10th victory of the season thanks largely to 31 points from Zach LaVine.

    Kawhi Leonard missed the encounter due to a knee injury.

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  • Rivers says 'every play was for George and Leonard' after duo make LA Clippers history Rivers says 'every play was for George and Leonard' after duo make LA Clippers history

    Doc Rivers says every play was for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and feels the star duo "came up big" to make Los Angeles Clippers history against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    George had 46 points and Leonard added 42 as they became the first Clippers team-mates to score over 40 in the same game, helping the team to a 124-117 win in Minneapolis.

    The Clippers' run of four straight road victories has arrived at a key time, having previously been 3-6 away from Staples Center.

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    George was involved the last time two team-mates scored over 40, doing it with Russell Westbrook at the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, but knew it was an impressive feat.

    "It's special, two guys offensively," George said. "It's great when both guys can get it going.

    "The thing about it is, we're dishing, finding each other, feeding each other. And then when we have moments to be aggressive, we're looking to get aggressive, attack, look for our shots. 

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    Leonard was thrilled with the performance but insisted Clippers wins were more important than he and George replicating their high points totals in future games.

    "It's great that we can have somebody else out there to help scoring the ball, making the game easier for myself," said last year's NBA Finals MVP.

    "We got into our spots early, made shots. Paul carried us in that second half."

    Asked if this was what he envisaged playing with George, Leonard said: "I didn't think that coming into the season. We just want to win a basketball game. 

    "If it's me having 10 and him having 40 or vice-versa, or Lou Will is going or Trezz [Montrezl Harrell] or somebody else having a great game, that is what I envision. I just want to envision winning games.

    "We're still trying to build our chemistry out there. We didn't close that third quarter too great. We [have] still got to improve."

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