The lava-hot Milwaukee Bucks seek their 14th consecutive victory when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The Bucks could be in for a challenge as Los Angeles is also enjoying a stellar stretch with nine victories in its past 10 games.
Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated the Clippers with 38 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in a 129-124 win on Nov. 6 in Los Angeles when two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard sat out. Antetokounmpo is ready for the return engagement - whether or not Leonard is on the floor - as he views the Clippers as a squad that will provide a major challenge. "I'm looking forward to every game, but obviously Friday's going to be a big game playing against the Clippers, one of the best teams in the league," Antetokounmpo told reporters after Wednesday's 127-103 trouncing of the Detroit Pistons. "Just got to do what we do. ... I think we have a great team that we always have a chance to win. As long as we have a chance to win, things are good." Leonard scored just 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting on Tuesday when the Clippers rolled to a 117-97 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (16-6): Backup power forward Montrezl Harrell scored 26 points on 11-of-13 shooting and forward Paul George had 25 while knocking down 6-of-7 3-point attempts in the easy victory over Portland. Backup forward Patrick Patterson went 5-of-7 from 3-point range while scoring 19 points to offset the sluggish offensive performances from Leonard and sixth man Lou Williams (nine points on 4-of-14 shooting). Leonard continues to deal with a balky knee but figures to be full-go against the Bucks, the first opponent of a six-game road trip.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (19-3): Milwaukee's 13-game winning streak is the franchise's longest since claiming 16 in a row in a stretch that spanned the end of the 1972-73 season and the beginning of the 1973-74 campaign. The last three victories have come by 41, 44 and 24 points and the Bucks started slowly against the host Pistons before breaking away as Antetokounmpo finished with 35 points. "You've got to have a little bit of fire in this game, this sport, and I think you pair it up with good focus, good mental discipline and that's what our team does most nights," coach Mike Budenholzer said afterward. "I think that's a positive. I like the way our guys responded."
1. Williams and Harrell each scored 34 points in last month's loss to the Bucks - the output was a season high for Williams and a career best for Harrell that he has since tied.
2. Milwaukee SF Khris Middleton scored 17 points against Detroit and has reached double digits in all five games since returning from a thigh injury.
3. Los Angeles has won 11 of the past 16 meetings with the Bucks.
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