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Feb 3, 2024 11:29 pm

Doc Rivers gets first win as Bucks coach as Mavs cough up 25-point lead

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 48 points and Damian Lillard added 30 on 10-of-11 shooting to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 129-117 come-from-behind victory over the host Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

Milwaukee trailed by as many as 25 points, making it the owner of the top two comebacks in the NBA this season. The Bucks also rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 26.

Khris Middleton added 13 points and eight assists for Milwaukee. Bobby Portis had 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as Doc Rivers got his first win as Bucks coach, improving to 1-2.

Luka Doncic led the way for the Mavericks, who were without Kyrie Irving (thumb), with 40 points. He flirted with a triple-double, also supplying nine boards and 11 assists. Maxi Kleber contributed 21 points and Josh Green finished with 20.

It was a first half dominated by Dallas. The Mavericks quickly jumped ahead, winning the first quarter 44-20.

Dallas saw its lead grow to 25 early in the second quarter and was up 65-45 with 2:12 remaining in the period before the Bucks went on a 15-0 run to end the first half, with Lillard nailing a 3-pointer at the buzzer. That brought Milwaukee within 65-60 at the break, and it carried that momentum into the third quarter.

The Bucks went back on top with 6:08 left in the frame, when Middleton canned a trey to make it 78-75. Milwaukee pushed its advantage to eight points at 83-75, but Dallas trailed by just one, 93-92, heading into the fourth.

Antetokounmpo then took over, scoring 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the final frame as the Bucks started to run away with the game. When he converted a layup with 3:57 remaining, Milwaukee led 118-109, and the visitors later opened up a 15-point cushion with eight unanswered points to clinch the victory.

–Field Level Media

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