The Milwaukee Bucks will try to end a three-game slide and recover from an emotional loss when they host the Orlando Magic on Monday. Losers of five of six overall, the Bucks took the Golden State Warriors to the finish line in a dramatic encounter at home Saturday night before falling 124-121.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points but missed a key shot and an important free throw down the stretch to help the Warriors seal it and spoil a late comeback in front of spirited fans.
"You feed off that energy. You need that as a team," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "Whoever believes in us and wants us to be great, hopefully they can come to the arena and watch us play."
Bucks fans have seen their team claim seven of the last eight home games against the Magic, who enter this one in search of their third straight victory. D.J. Augustin led a balanced attack with 18 points in a 95-87 win over the injury-depleted Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (6-7): With starting point guard Elfrid Payton struggling, Augustin saw most of the action in the stretch run against Dallas and gave the Eastern Conference's worst offense a big boost, hitting 6-of-11 shots and chipping in a season-high six assists. "I was planning on coming back to Elfrid, but D.J. got it going," coach Frank Vogel told the media. "I'm typically going to ride the hot hand. They had two really small, quick guards, so I liked our defensive matchups on top of the fact that D.J. was going." While the offense is often in need of a spark, Orlando has held three straight opponents under 90 points for the first time since Feb. 2012.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (5-7): Jabari Parker scored 28 points in the loss to the Warriors as the 21-year-old continues to search for consistency. In his last six games Parker has scored 16, 33, 16, 23, 11 and 28 points - in that order - while often seeing his shooting percentages fluctuate along with his scoring. Antetokounmpo had the most recent of his five career triple-doubles in the previous meeting with Orlando (18 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) near the end of the 2015-16 season.BUZZER BEATERS1. The all-time series is knotted at 50 wins apiece.2. Payton is averaging 13.7 points (48.6 percent shooting) on the road and 8.1 (34.4) at home.3. Bucks PF Michael Beasley has averaged 9.2 points in 13.8 minutes in the month of November.
PREDICTION: Bucks 99, Magic 92