Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped his season-high 47 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 on Thursday night. Khris Middleton returned to the lineup after missing eight games and the Bucks had their star trio of Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
"It's the three-headed monster," Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said. "It's the three guys that make us go." Antetokounmpo is hoping the Bucks will go on a notable winning streak now that Middleton has returned to the lineup.
"I think this is a good opportunity now that Khris is back for us to start getting back on track," Antetokounmpo said. "Start building some games right here. And we'll see. I can't predict the future, but we're in a good place right now."
Middleton gave credit to Antetokounmpo for the performance he delivered. "He made it look easy tonight," Middleton said. "Got to his spots, was patient. Didn't necessarily try to force his way through too many guys.
If he saw an extra body, he tried to find the open man. It was just great as far as picking his spots and getting to his spots and being comfortable and being just him. His best version of himself."
Antetokounmpo admitted he missed Middleton in the lineup
"I always complain to him, 'I see you too much.
I'm tired of you. We got to get some space from one another.' Now, I kind of missed him," Antetokounmpo said with a laugh. "Just having him out there, it definitely helped the team. He hit two back-to-back 3s for us, gave us momentum, made great plays down the stretch, so it's good to have him back.
Definitely good to have him back." Holiday delivered a strong performance on the defensive end and Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer praised the guard. "He played a really smart defensive game," Bucks coach Budenholzer said of Holiday.
"Offensively, I think he's still finding his rhythm a little bit, but I think defensively, he was a lot of places, made a lot of plays that were big for us." The Bucks still own a losing record but Middleton is hoping that will soon change.
"We definitely started way slower than I think we all wanted to," Middleton said. "But it happens; it has happened. So, we've just got to find a way to get ourself out of this rut. Tonight was a nice start, so hopefully, we can string along a couple games if we need to."