Bucks snap 2-game skid with 126-106 victory over Rockets

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jrue Holiday scored 24 points, Khris Middleton added 23 in his return from injury and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Houston Rockets 126-106 on Wednesday night to snap a two-game skid.

Middleton missed three games because of a hyperextended left knee. The two-time All-Star played 28 minutes and had six assists.

The Bucks were missing two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for a fourth straight game as he remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols along with teammates Bobby Portis and Donte DiVincenzo.

Houston wasn’t missing anyone for reasons related to COVID-19, but Jalen Green hasn’t played since Nov. 24 due to a strained left hamstring and Kevin Porter Jr. has been out nearly three weeks with a bruised left thigh.

Christian Wood led the Rockets with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Milwaukee got big contributions from recent veteran signees DeMarcus Cousins and Wesley Matthews. Cousins had 18 points and eight rebounds. The four-time All-Star’s highest point total in 10 games since joining the Bucks on Nov. 30.

Matthews scored 16 points in his return after missing five games due to the health and safety protocols. Matthews hadn’t scored more than three points in any of the other four games he had played since signing with the Bucks on Dec. 3. Jordan Nwora added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks.

Houston also got 12 points each from Eric Gordon and KJ Martin plus 10 apiece from Garrison Mathews and Alperen Sengun.

The Bucks scored 16 straight points in the second quarter to seize control. Holiday scored seven points during the stretch, and Cousins added five with a three-point play and a dunk.

Nwora provided the most memorable play of that spurt by sinking a 3-pointer after making a nifty step-back move that sent Houston’s Armoni Brooks sprawling to the floor.

Houston answered with a 10-0 run that included six points from Gordon and four from Wood, but the Bucks regrouped and led 63-50 at halftime.

The Bucks maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Wood had another big game while continuing to deal with left knee tendinitis, which caused him to miss two games last week. Wood has scored at least 20 points in five of the last six games he has played.

Bucks: The Bucks are playing on back-to-back days for the third time in the last two weeks. … Nwora has scored in double figures for a career-high four straight games. … The Bucks completed a regular-season sweep of the Rockets. The Bucks won 123-114 at Houston on Dec. 10 to snap the Rockets’ seven-game winning streak.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At Indiana on Thursday night.

Bucks: At Dallas on Thursday night.


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