MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets 103-97 on Monday night.
Jared Dudley had 19 points for Milwaukee, which won its fifth straight home game. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 12 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
After a poor-shooting first half, the Bucks turned up the defensive pressure and forced eight turnovers in a third quarter in which they outscored Brooklyn by 16.
Jarrett Jack had 26 points for the Nets.
But mistakes doomed Brooklyn. It closed to 89-84 midway through the fourth quarter, but Mason Plumlee’s turnover turned into an easy transition layup for Middleton that put the Bucks back up by nine with 3:14 left.
The young Bucks swarmed the veteran Nets in the backcourt and filled passing lanes. Middleton had three steals in the third quarter and used his soft baseline jumper to dent Brooklyn for easy buckets.
The Bucks were so good in the third that it was hard to believe that they struggled so much earlier in the evening.
A 0-for-12 drought spanning the first and second quarters left the Bucks trailing 41-24 with 7:45 left. Brooklyn found success inside, going 11 of 15 on shots in the paint in the first half.
The Bucks slowly chipped away in spite of shooting 33 percent in the first half. Antetokounmpo and Dudley kept the Bucks in the game, with Dudley going 4 of 4 from 3-point range in the first half to help them get within 52-47 at halftime.
Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson finished with 19 points and six assists.
Nets: Guard Deron Williams played 22 minutes after being listed as questionable with an illness. He was scoreless and missed all five of his shot attempts. … Brooklyn shot 70 percent (12 of 17) in the first quarter to take a 30-24 lead.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 points and 11 rebounds in his previous four games, which included three double-doubles. … Center Zaza Pachulia played 16 minutes after sitting out six games with a strained right calf.
Nets: At Memphis on Tuesday.
Bucks: Host Sacramento on Wednesday.
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