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Bradley Beal leads Wizards past struggling Bucks, snapping 8-game skid in the series
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Bradley Beal leads Wizards past struggling Bucks, snapping 8-game skid in the series

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Wizards' Bradley Beal passes the ball in front of Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half Sunday.

WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal scored 30 points and the Washington Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-94 on Sunday night.

Beal had his second game of the season with at least 30 points. He averaged more than 30 in each of the past two seasons.

Known for much of his career as a scorer, Beal felt that defense was the key as Washington held an opponent under 100 points for the second straight game and third time this season.

“We made it tough on them,” Beal said after the Wizards limited the Bucks to 39% shooting.

“I feel like I played a playoff game tonight,” he added.

Kyle Kuzma added 15 points and 10 rebounds to help Washington snap an eight-game losing streak against Milwaukee. Montrezl Harrell also had 15 points, and Daniel Gafford added 11.

At 7-3, Washington is off to its best start since the 2014-15 season.

“I think we’ve been able to pull together relatively quickly with so many pieces,” first-year coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “It’s a lot to ask but for the most part our guys have been great with our effort and locked in with what we are trying to do.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 18 rebounds for the Bucks, who have lost five of six games to drop to 4-6.

Grayson Allen scored 19 points, and Bobby Portis had 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Bucks dropped the first game on a five-game trip.

Corey Kispert’s jumper with 2:54 left in the third gave Washington a 77-67 lead. It was Washington’s first double-digit lead since early in the first quarter. Gafford had 10 points in the quarter.

Washington led 82-71 after three quarters. The Wizards shot 56% in the quarter and held the Bucks to just 33% to break open a back-and-forth game that saw seven ties and 18 lead changes.

Milwaukee led 52-49 at halftime despite falling in an immediate 12-0 hole to start the game. Washington had 11 turnovers in the first half and finished with 19.

Antetokounmpo played a season-high 39 minutes and afterward Budenholzer admitted that his star wanted to stay on the floor longer than usual.

“Giannis was in that mindset that he wanted to play a lot,” Budenholzer said. “It’s on me to keep him in a good place. I love his spirit tonight.”

White House visit

The Bucks will visit the White House on Monday to celebrate their NBA title.

“It doesn’t happen every day,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think the players will look forward to it. Tomorrow will be a great memory.”

Dandridge honored

Washington honored franchise great and Hall of Famer Bob Dandridge throughout the game, which included a halftime tribute on the video board. Dandridge played for the Washington Bullets for four seasons (1977-81) and was a key part of the 1978 championship team. Dandridge was drafted by Milwaukee in 1969 and played nine seasons in total for the Bucks, winning a title in 1971. The 73-year-old Dandridge was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in September.

In the paint

Antetokounmpo moved past Sidney Moncrief into second place on Milwaukee’s assists list with three in the first half and now has 2,691. Paul Pressey is first with 3,272. … Milwaukee was assessed a technical foul in the second quarter — and had a field goal disallowed — for playing with six players. … Forward Khris Middleton, Milwaukee’s second-leading scorer, missed his fourth straight game after testing positive for COVID-19. Players must sit out a minimum of 10 days after a positive test.

Milwaukee 24 28 19 23 — 94

Washington 26 23 33 19 — 101

MILWAUKEE — Allen 6-12 4-4 19, G.Antetokounmpo 12-26 5-12 29, Portis 6-17 0-0 13, Hill 3-10 0-0 6, J.Holiday 6-16 0-0 14, Nwora 1-3 0-0 3, Ojeleye 1-1 0-0 3, T.Antetokounmpo 0-0 0-0 0, Connaughton 2-8 1-2 7, Robinson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 37-94 10-18 94.

WASHINGTON — Caldwell-Pope 2-6 0-1 5, Kuzma 6-11 0-0 15, Gafford 5-6 1-2 11, Beal 14-22 0-1 30, Dinwiddie 2-8 0-0 6, Avdija 1-3 0-0 3, Kispert 2-5 0-0 5, Harrell 5-7 5-5 15, A.Holiday 2-5 2-4 7, Neto 2-8 0-0 4. Totals 41-81 8-13 101.

3-point goals M 10-36 (Allen 3-8, Connaughton 2-6, J.Holiday 2-7, Nwora 1-2, Portis 1-3, G.Antetokounmpo 0-4, Hill 0-5), W 11-27 (Kuzma 3-8, Beal 2-3, Dinwiddie 2-5, A.Holiday 1-2, Avdija 1-2, Caldwell-Pope 1-2, Kispert 1-3, Neto 0-2). Rebounds M 49 (G.Antetokounmpo 18), W 42 (Kuzma 10). Assists M 17 (G.Antetokounmpo 5), W 24 (Beal 8). Technical fouls — Milwaukee bench. Total fouls — M 10, W 16. Att. 15,570.

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