Giannis Antetokounmpo drops 50 as Bucks beat sinking Pelicans

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 50 points and 13 rebounds and the host Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 135-110 victory over the reeling New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night.

Jrue Holiday added 17 points and Brook Lopez scored 15 as the Bucks won their fourth straight game. They have averaged 133.3 points during the streak.

Jose Alvarado scored 18, Jonas Valanciunas and Trey Murphy III had 16 each, Kira Lewis Jr. had 15, Herbert Jones Jr. had 11, Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Devonte’ Graham scored 10 for the Pelicans, who lost their eighth straight game and their 11th in 16.

Brandon Ingram sat out after playing two games in the wake of a 29-game absence due to a bruised toe. New Orleans was completing a back-to-back.

The Pelicans started the third quarter with their best offensive stretch of the game. Alvarado had seven points and three assists as New Orleans scored 21 points in less than six minutes to close an 18-point halftime deficit to 77-65.

But Holiday had eight points and three assists as Milwaukee regained command with a 106-88 lead at the end of the third quarter. Both teams scored 44 points in the period.

The Bucks held a comfortable edge throughout the fourth quarter and went on to lead by as many as 27 points on Sandro Mamukelashvili’s late dunk.

Antetokounmpo had three points and an assist as Milwaukee scored the first eight points of the game. After Alvarado made two free throws for New Orleans’ first points, Antetokounmpo made three consecutive Bucks baskets as they opened a 14-2 lead. Valanciunas followed with the Pelicans’ first field goal more than four minutes into the game.

Antetokounmpo increased his point total to 16 as Milwaukee took a 21-12 lead before his teammates started getting more involved in the scoring. Middleton scored seven points before Antetokounmpo made the final basket, giving the Bucks a 37-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.

New Orleans prevented things from getting any worse in the second quarter as both teams scored 25 points, leaving Milwaukee with a 62-44 halftime lead. Antetokounmpo finished the half with 29 points — one more than the Pelicans’ starters combined for — and 10 rebounds.