CHICAGO - Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton each scored 22 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks were good enough without Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Chicago Bulls 108-98 on Friday night.
The Bucks hope Antetokounmpo won’t be sidelined for long after the reigning two-time MVP rolled his already sprained right ankle in the opening minute at Houston the previous night. They still had enough to bounce back from a loss to the NBA-worst Rockets.
The Bucks let a 19-point lead dwindle to two late in the first half. They bumped it back up to 17 entering the fourth and hung on for their 12th straight win against the Bulls.
Bobby Portis had 16 points and tied a season high with 14 rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 16 to go with seven assists for Milwaukee, which is third in the Eastern Conference.
Coby White led Chicago with 21 points. Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 15 rebounds, though he made just 7 of 27 shots. Daniel Theis finished with 16 points and 10 boards as the Bulls lost for the third time in four games.
The Bucks led by 19 about five minutes into the second quarter and were up 42-25 when Chicago went on a 15-0 run. Theis scored seven in a row during that stretch, and White hit a 3 to cut it to 42-40 with 2:36 remaining.
Milwaukee reeled off six straight capped by Middleton’s jumper before a driving Vucevic scored on a floater with a second left to make it 52-44 at halftime.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo has missed 10 games this season, including six in early April with an ailing left knee. ... The Bucks were also without F Donte DiVincenzo (sore right big toe).
Bulls: The Bulls have not beaten the Bucks since Dec. 26, 2017 at Milwaukee. ... Coach Billy Donovan had no update on All-Star Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols), who missed his ninth game in a row. "I’ll probably know a little bit more, I think, once we get through this weekend," Donovan said.
Bucks: Host Brooklyn on Sunday.
Bulls: Visit Atlanta on Saturday.