The NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks are rolling along with wins in four straight and nine of their last 10 games and just finished up another successful road trip which included a win at the Washington Wizards. The Bucks will try to ease past the Wizards once again when they host a rematch on Wednesday.
Milwaukee dropped the opener of its five-game trip at Oklahoma City on Jan. 27 before blasting through Detroit, Toronto, Washington and Brooklyn by an average of 14.5 points, capped by Monday's 113-94 triumph over the Nets. "I think five games in whatever this has been, nine or 10 days, and everybody in the league's gotta do it," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. "But hopefully we're a team that can do it a little bit longer, a little bit smarter, a little bit harder than everybody else. The fifth game on a road trip was one of those nights I thought the guys dug down deep and were really good." The Wizards surrendered 131 points in the loss to Milwaukee on Saturday and were even worse on the defensive end in a 137-129 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. "They made tough shots, a lot of tough shots," forward Jeff Green told reporters of the Hawks. "We have to be more aggressive putting them off the line. We have to give credit where credit is due. They made some tough shots."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Washington, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee) LINE: Bucks -11.5
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (22-31): All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal is carrying a heavy load in the absence of fellow All-Star guard John Wall (heel) and he scored 20 or more in the seventh straight game with 27 on Monday. Washington announced Wall suffered a setback with a ruptured Achilles that will sideline him 12 months. Shooting guard Jordan McRae didn't find a spot in the rotation until last week but is making up for lost time and went 8-of-11 from the floor in 26 minutes while scoring 20 points on Monday.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (39-13): Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting, 15 rebounds and nine assists in Monday's win but was most excited about his three blocks and a team defense that held the Nets to 32.4 percent shooting, including 5-of-42 from 3-point range. "Defense is everything," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "We get energy off our defense." The defense is led on the perimeter by point guard Eric Bledsoe, who collected five steals on Monday and leads the team at an average of 1.5.
1. Wizards PG Tomas Satoransky handed out at least six assists in each of the last eight games.
2. Bucks C Brook Lopez recorded at least one block in 10 straight contests and is averaging 2.1.
3. Washington won in both of its trips to Milwaukee last season.
PREDICTION: Bucks 128, Wizards 116 Bet Now
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