MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points and Khris Middleton had 24 on Saturday night to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their 18th consecutive victory, 125-108 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Bucks have won 22 of their last 23 and improved to 24-3, one-half game ahead of the idle Los Angeles Lakers for the best record in the league. The Bucks have not lost since Nov. 8 at Utah.
The streak is the second longest in franchise history. The Bucks won 20 consecutive games in the 1970-71 season on the way to winning their lone NBA championship.
Kevin Porter Jr. had 15 points and Jordan Clarkson scored 13 for the Cavaliers (6-20), who grabbed a brief lead in the second quarter on a jumper by Clarkson but were then outscored 34-14 to close the period.
The Bucks’ lead grew to as many as 28 points in the third quarter, and they cruised the rest of the way.
Cleveland, which had ended an eight-game losing streak with an overtime win over San Antonio on Thursday night, committed 18 turnovers.
Kevin Love added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland.
Antetokounmpo, who missed his first game of the season Wednesday night against New Orleans, played just 24 minutes, while Middleton, who had 26 points on Friday night, played 23.
Cavaliers: Dylan Windler is being re-evaluated for a stress reaction in his left leg. The team’s first-round pick this year has yet to play for Cleveland. “He really could give us a spark right now,” Cavaliers coach John Beilein said. “I really feel bad for him. We’ll let him go dormant for a couple weeks, see if it’s nothing.” ... Ten players scored in the first half, but none reached double figures. Thompson and Darius Garland each had eight. ... John Henson, who hadn’t made a 3-pointer this season, connected on back-to-back shots from deep in the fourth quarter.
Bucks: Eric Bledsoe sat out with a right shin contusion. He limped off the court in the third quarter of Friday’s game at Memphis. Donte DiVincenzo, who started in Bledsoe’s place, had 15 points. ... Ten players saw action in the first quarter. ... Coach Mike Budenholzer challenged a blocking foul call on Ersan Ilyasova with 18.2 seconds left in the third and Milwaukee leading by 25. The call stood. ... Robin Lopez had a season-high 16 points. ... A member of the Rim Rockers, a team of daredevils who perform at Bucks home games, was injured during a halftime show. The man crawled off the court before being immobilized and was carried away on a stretcher by emergency medical personnel.
Cavaliers: Visit Toronto on Monday for the teams’ first meeting this season.
Bucks: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. Milwaukee has won three in a row in the series.