Life on the road seems to agree with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have won their last eight games away from Fiserv Forum.
The Bucks look to extend the streak on Tuesday against the improving Orlando Magic, who are making a late push for a spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
One night after having its 16-game winning streak snapped by the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee bounced back with a 117-111 road win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo fell one rebound shy of recording his fourth triple-double of the season to lead the Bucks. He intentionally missed a shot to get rebound No. 10 in the final seconds and the NBA rescinded the board on Monday.
Milwaukee has been on a hot streak from 3-point range over the past month, and that trend continued against the Wizards. The Bucks shot 22 of 49 (44.9 percent) from beyond the arc with six players making at least two 3-pointers.
“We feel like we’ve got a lot of depth,” said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are good shooters that can get hot from the 3-point line. So that’s part of a good team and being able to play on back-to-backs and make it through the season and be prepared for the playoffs.”
The Bucks received a spark off the bench against Washington with Jevon Carter and Joe Ingles combining for 34 points. Ingles made four 3-pointers and Carter was 7 of 13 from the field, including 6 of 10 from beyond the arc while scoring 20 points.
“When Jevon is hitting those pull-up threes in transition it’s kind of like a backbreaker for the other team,” Bucks guard Grayson Allen said. “It usually either sparks a run for us or it kind of caps off a run and makes the other team call timeout. It’s huge for us.”
Milwaukee has won its last 13 meetings against Orlando, including a 139-117 victory on March 1.
Orlando has dropped three of its last five games, including a 122-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 26 points, Franz Wagner added 24, and Markelle Fultz had 15 points, eight assists and four steals.
Orlando played without center Wendell Carter Jr. (left hip pain) and guard Gary Harris (hip), who are both listed as day-to-day.
Banchero has averaged 28.5 points on 50 percent shooting in his last two games and remains the leader in the NBA’s Rookie of the Year race. The 6-foot-10 forward has led or tied the team in scoring 25 times.
“It’s my first year and I’m just learning the NBA game, trying to pick my spots on the floor (and decide) when to be aggressive,” Banchero said. “I’ve always been able to go get a bucket. So, whenever I’m asked to do that, I have no problem with it.”
Orlando is looking to avoid its first two-game losing skid since late January and will need a strong offensive effort to keep pace with Milwaukee. The Magic sit in 13th place in the conference and remain focused on gaining a spot in the play-in tournament (seeds 7-10).
“We’re going in the right trajectory,” center Moritz Wagner said. “Now, we want to play for something, and that’s the play-in game, playoffs.”
–Field Level Media