National Basketball Association
Milwaukee 116, Houston 109
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Officials: #49 Tom Washington, #46 Ben Taylor, #54 Ray Acosta
Attendance: 18055

Giannis Antetokounmpo's tip-in with 39.1 seconds remaining allowed the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to fend off a furious Houston Rockets rally and squeeze out a 116-109 victory on Wednesday at Toyota Center.

The Bucks, winners of 11 of 13, coughed up most of their 15-point, fourth-quarter lead before Antetokounmpo parlayed his 20th rebound into a six-point lead. Antetokounmpo finished with team highs in points (27) and rebounds (21), including four rebounds on the offensive end.

James Harden paced the Houston rally with 42 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. The Rockets had their 10-game home winning streak snapped despite shooting 18 of 48 (37.5 percent) on 3-pointers.

The Bucks dominated the interior on both ends, outscoring Houston 70-24 in the paint while receiving superior rim protection from center Brook Lopez (four blocks) and helped limit Rockets center Clint Capela to 4-of-16 shooting. Capela totaled 18 points and 13 boards.

Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon added 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting while Khris Middleton scored 15 points. Gerald Green scored 16 off the Houston bench.

Buoyed by a strong performance from the perimeter, the Rockets suddenly went cold down the stretch of the third quarter. Harden drilled a corner 3-pointer at the 4:32 mark for an 81-73 lead but Houston concluded that period by misfiring on its final six attempts from behind the arc.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, went on the offensive. The Bucks had already showcased their ability to rally from a deficit, bridging the second and third periods with a 22-9 run that yielded a 70-66 lead on a pair of Antetokounmpo free throws with 7:03 left in the third. When the Rockets' collective shooting touch vanished, the Bucks rolled to a 101-86 lead courtesy of a 28-5 surge.

The Bucks inflicted most of their damage off the dribble, and when Brogdon wasn't punishing scrambling defenders, Antetokounmpo was wreaking havoc on the glass and as a facilitator. Milwaukee complemented its efficient offense by locking in defensively, with Houston enduring six-plus minutes between the Harden trey and a P.J. Tucker 3 with 9:50 to play.

The Rockets made hay from deep in the early stages, offsetting the Bucks' 48.9-percent shooting in the first half by drilling 10 of 22 3-pointers. Harden, quiet throughout the first quarter, exploded in the second (4-of-5 shooting in the period, including 3-for-3 from behind the arc). He added six free throws to complete a 17-point quarter.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Milwaukee   Houston
Giannis Antetokounmpo 27 Scoring James Harden 42
Giannis Antetokounmpo 5 Assists PJ Tucker 7
Giannis Antetokounmpo 21 Rebounds Clint Capela 13
Giannis Antetokounmpo 11 Free Throws Made Clint Capela 10
Khris Middleton 3 Steals James Harden 2
Brook Lopez 4 Blocks Clint Capela 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Milwaukee 116 48.4 8-27 20-24 26 49 5 11 13
Houston 109 37.6 18-48 27-32 19 46 7 4 19
Upcoming Games
  • Houston will play their next game at home against Cleveland. The Rockets have a W/L % of .667 after a win and .438 after a loss.
  • Milwaukee will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Bucks have a W/L % of .621 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.