Khris Middleton scored a high of 31 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks used brilliant shooting from three-point range to gradually pull away from the visiting Golden State Warriors for a 138-99 blowout victory on Christmas Day.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to 15 points on 4-for-14 shooting, but Middleton and four other teammates scored in double figures as the Bucks quickly erased the bad taste of a last-second loss to Boston with their first win of the season.
Stephen Curry had a team-high 19 points and rookie James Wiseman 18 for the Warriors, who together have scored 65 points in their first two games.
Middleton made 6 of 8 three-pointers, including two straight in a 19-7 Bucks burst in the third period, turning a competitive 72-64 game into a 20-point advantage.
Donte DiVincenzo and DJ Augustin each connected three three-pointers in 13-point performances, while DJ Wilson also hit three moves to account for all of his nine points for the Bucks, who were the NBA’s winning team in the regular season last year.
Jrue Holiday averaged 12 points and a team-high six assists, while Bobby Portis logged a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double for Milwaukee, shooting 54.9 percent overall and 20-for-37 (54.1 percent) from outside the arc .
The Bucks also surpassed the Warriors 69-49, with Antetokounmpo supplementing his 15 points with a game-high 13 boards. Andrew Wiggins (12 points), Brad Wanamaker (11) and Jordan Poole (11) also scored in double figures for the Warriors, who shot only 34.3 percent overall and 10-to-45 (22.2 percent) on three-pointers.
Wiseman, the overall No. 2 pick in the draft, had eight rebounds and three blocks on the team. Antetokounmpo struggled in the first half, missing five of his six shots and seven of his 11 free throws, but the Bucks nevertheless managed a 66-56 lead at the break.
They never looked back and they continued their dominance throughout the second half to bounce back from a one-point defeat to Boston in their opening game.
However, for the Warriors, who lost by 26 points on the opening night to Brooklyn, it was another reminder of the work they face this season.