MILWAUKEE (AP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists, and the Bucks spoiled Malcolm Brogdon’s return to Milwaukee with a 117-89 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.
Wesley Matthews scored 19 points for NBA-leading Milwaukee, which has won three in a row since a 120-116 loss to Dallas stopped an 18-game win streak. Brook Lopez and George Hill each had 17 points.
Brogdon was drafted by Milwaukee and spent his first three seasons with the Bucks before he was acquired by Indiana in a sign-and-trade deal over the summer. He was welcomed back with cheers and a tribute video, and finished with 10 points on 5-of-19 shooting and 10 assists.
â€œI would have loved (to continue) to play for this team if they had wanted me, if they had valued me the way the Pacers valued me,” Brogdon said before the game.
The 6-foot-5 Brogdon was voted NBA Rookie of the Year in 2017. He became the eighth member of the league’s 50-40-90 club last season (shooting at least 50% from the field, 40% from 3-point range and 90% from the free-throw line).
He was averaging a career high in points (18.7), rebounds (4.6) and assists (7.5) coming into the game.
Brogdon scored his first points on a layup with 10:28 to play in the second quarter, giving the Pacers a 26-24 lead. Donte DiVincenzo made a layup to give Milwaukee a 56-55 advantage with 53 seconds to play in the first half, and the Bucks never trailed again.
Milwaukee outscored Indiana 58-34 in the second half and had a 48-34 advantage in points in the paint.
Domantas Sabonis had 19 points and 18 rebounds for the Pacers. Doug McDermott scored 15 points.
Brogdon was serenaded with â€œThank you, Malcolm!â€ chants as time wound down.
â€œThat was tough. That was one of the tough parts. These fans here were amazing to me for three years,â€ Brogdon said. â€œAnd I felt like I got to see the city grow. I got to see their love for the game grow.â€
Pacers: Indiana has lost four straight against the Bucks dating to last season. The Pacers are 0-2 against Milwaukee this season, losing 102-83 at home on Nov. 16.
Bucks: Milwaukee played its fifth game (4-1) without guard Eric Bledsoe, who fractured his right leg against the Memphis Grizzles on Dec. 13. Bledsoe is expected to miss about two weeks.
Pacers: Host the Raptors on Monday.
Bucks: At the 76ers on Wednesday.
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