Giannis Antetokounmpo sets fitting franchise record in Bucks feisty win over Bulls

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

After completing their regular season sweep of the Charlotte Hornets, the Milwaukee Bucks aimed to keep their newfound momentum going against the Chicago Bulls.

In what has become the usual against Chicago in recent years, tensions flared from beginning to end. Speaking of beginning to end, the Bucks led the entire way in this nationally televised contest, having built up a lead as large as 25 points. To their credit, the Bulls hung around for most of the matchup to keep the Bucks on their toes, but Milwaukee still prevailed with a final score of 113-97.

Giannis Antetokounmpo sets fitting franchise record in Bucks feisty win over Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo continued crafting his MVP case by posting 46 points with efficient splits, shooting 72.7 percent from the floor, 66.7 percent from 3-point land and 75 percent from the foul line. What stood out the most from this performance was Antetokounmpo's success with jumpers, hitting them all over the court, an area he's been flat-out masterful in as of late.

In total, he finished with 46 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and a block and steal each. MVP stuff.

With the victory, Antetokounmpo surpassed Sidney Moncrief for the most wins in franchise history by a player. Fittingly, the Greek Freak now sits alone at the mountaintop after being drafted by a team that desperately needed to strike gold in the draft and took a swing on him. The best part is that he has a chance to continue adding to that record moving forward.

Elsewhere, the Bucks also got Patrick Beverley's best performance since he came aboard via trade, totaling 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block. The guard was on a mission against his old team, having hit an array of tough shots while also playing his trademark hounding defense.

Beverley's play helped fuel the tension in this matchup, with he and Bobby Portis providing an edge that Bulls players took exception to. The contest also featured an ejection after Nikola Vucevic, who was clearly frustrated, took a cheap shot at Milwaukee's AJ Green.

DeRozan was clearly upset with how this one played out, with Milwaukee playing tough defense on him throughout. He finished with just 12 points on 5-of-13 field goal shooting, unable to get himself going whatsoever. Prior to his frustration-fueled ejection, Vucevic also struggled mightily, scoring 17 points on 18 shot attempts.

With the win and another strong defense performance in the books, Milwaukee's defensive rating has moved up to second in the league since Doc Rivers took over, per The Bucks have done a complete 180 with Rivers at the helm, and they still have room to improve.

Milwaukee's defense will be put to the test throughout an incredibly difficult stretch ahead in March, with the Bucks facing several top teams. It will be a good test for a team that has seemingly started finding its footing as of late, having won five straight games. Next up: LA Clippers.

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