MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo had 43 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as the Milwaukee Bucks went on a lopsided run after Brooklyn coach Steve Nash was ejected in the third quarter and beat the Nets 110-99 on Wednesday night.
Antetokounmpo scored 34 points in the second half as the Bucks outscored the Nets 67-44 over the final two periods. After shooting just 3 of 10 in the first half, Antetokounmpo went 13 of 15 in the second half. He was following up a Saturday performance in which he scored 44 points and shot 17 of 21 in a 125-105 rout of the Houston Rockets, marking just the fifth time in NBA history a player had scored at least 44 points while playing less than 28 minutes.
Bobby Portis had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee, and Jrue Holiday added 15 points.
Kevin Durant scored 33, Kyrie Irving 27 and Royce O’Neale 12 for the Nets.
Nash was ejected for the first time as Nets coach since taking over at the start of the 2020-21 season. Nash was ejected twice during his 18-season playing career.
The Nets led 70-66 with about 4 ½ minutes remaining in the third quarter when Nash appeared to argue for an offensive foul call on Antetokounmpo, who was bringing the ball up the court. Nash received a technical foul and then yelled his displeasure as assistant coach Jacque Vaughn and forward Royce O’Neale held him back. Nash’s heated reaction resulted in a second technical that got him ejected.
The Bucks outscored the Nets 44-29 the rest of the way.
George Hill made two free throws after Nash’s ejection to start a 5-0 run that put the Bucks ahead. Irving scored 11 straight Brooklyn points and sank a jumper that tied the game at 83 with 10:09 remaining, but the Nets went scoreless for the next 5½ minutes.
Milwaukee’s Jordan Nwora sank a tiebreaking 3-pointer from in front of the Nets’ bench with 9:43 left. Neither team scored again for nearly three minutes, but a couple of baskets from Antetokounmpo and a 3-pointer by Holiday gave the Bucks a 10-point lead with just over five minutes left.
Durant finally ended Brooklyn’s drought by making a driving layup with 4:37 remaining, the first time any Net other than Irving had scored since free throw by Day’Ron Sharpe with 3:02 left in the third period.
Nets: Brooklyn played a second straight game without Markieff Morris, out for personal reasons. Seth Curry (left ankle) and T.J. Warren (left foot) still haven’t made their season debuts. Nash said before the game that Curry will practice with the team's NBA G League affiliate Thursday and won't be playing against the Dallas Mavericks the same night. The Nets are hoping Curry will be available after Thursday's action. ... Nash said before the game he wanted to see Ben Simmons recapture “that joy of playing the game” as the three-time All-Star returns after missing the entire 2021-22 season and undergoing back surgery. Simmons had four points, five rebounds and nine assists Wednesday. He hasn't scored more than seven points in any of Brooklyn's first four games.
Bucks: The Bucks continue to play without Khris Middleton (wrist), Pat Connaughton (calf) and Joe Ingles (knee). ... A moment of silence was observed before the game to honor Keith Carrington, who had a lead supervisor for Fiserv Forum event security since 2018. Carrington died during the offseason.
Nets: Host the Mavericks on Thursday in the first of four straight home games.
Bucks: Host the New York Knicks on Friday in the third game of a season-high six-game homestand.
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