Middleton scores 31 as Bucks trounce Warriors 138-99

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 31 points and the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Golden State Warriors 138-99 on Friday to win their first Christmas Day home game in over half a century.

Middleton went 10 of 15 overall and 6 for 8 from 3-point range, leading a strong performance from deep for his team. He totaled 58 points in his first two games of the season.

“The weeks before the season, I just tried to put in good work, work on my game,” Middleton said. “So far, it’s been working for me.”

Milwaukee was 20 of 37 on 3-point attempts, while Golden State was 10 of 45.

The Warriors were outscored by 65 points in their first two games, the second-highest total in NBA history through two games to 71 points for the 1987-88 Clippers. Golden State lost 125-99 at Brooklyn in its season opener.

This was the second-most lopsided score of any Christmas Day game in NBA history. The Syracuse Nationals beat the New York Knicks 162-100 on Dec. 25, 1960.

“The thing I was most disappointed in is we just had two good days of practice with our execution working on getting in our offense and making hard cuts and reads, and we did not execute much of anything,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It was kind of scattered and disorganized. I’m disappointed in that. I’ve got to take the blame for that. I’m the head coach.”

Milwaukee’s only other Christmas home game came during the franchise’s inaugural season in 1968. The Bucks were on the road for Christmas the last two seasons, losing at Philadelphia in 2019 and winning at New York in 2018.

Bucks players got a Christmas surprise before the game when they received videotaped messages from their families in a move orchestrated by team officials.

“It was definitely the best gift that I got today,” Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said.

Then they went out and delivered a dominant performance to bounce back from a season-opening122-121 loss at Bostonin which Celtics star Jayson Tatum banked in a go-ahead 3-pointer and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a potential tying free throw in the final second.

Antetkounmpo had 15 points and 13 rebounds against Golden State, but the two-time reigning NBA MVP shot 4 of 15 from the floor and 7 of 15 from the foul line.

Stephen Curry scored 19 points for Golden State, and rookie James Wiseman had 18. Andrew Wiggins had 12. Jordan Poole and Brad Wanamaker added 11 each.

Donte DiVincenzo and D.J. Augustin each scored 13 for Milwaukee. Holiday had 12 and Bobby Portis added 10.

TIP-INS

Warriors: F Draymond Green sat out for the second straight game because of a sore right foot. … This marked the 12th time Kerr was part of a Christmas Day game. He has played in five and coached in seven. … The Warriors dropped to 13-17 in Christmas Day games. This was their eighth straight Christmas Day appearance.

Bucks: Augustin made his Bucks debut after sitting out the Celtics game due to a strained left calf. The 33-year-old Augustin signed with the Bucks last month after spending the last four seasons with Orlando.

CURRY MILESTONE WATCH

Curry increased his career points total to 16,458, overtaking Rick Barry (16,447) to move into second place on the Warriors’ list. Wilt Chamberlain holds the franchise record after scoring 17,783 points for the Warriors.

Curry was 2 of 10 from 3-point range to give him 2,499 career 3-pointers. The two-time MVP is looking to join Ray Allen (2,973) and Reggie Miller (2,560) as the only NBA players to make at least 2,500 3-pointers.

Curry went 5 of 5 from the line to extend his streak of consecutive successful free-throw attempts to 55. He is chasing Barry’s franchise record of 60 straight from 1976-77.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Visit Chicago on Sunday to continue their four-game trip to open the season. Golden State doesn’t play its first home game until Jan. 1 against Portland.

Bucks: Visit the New York Knicks on Sunday to open a three-game road swing.

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