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Milwaukee Bucks Preview
A 119-112 win over the Celtics on Friday gave the Milwaukee Bucks (54-12) a magic number of one to clinch top seed in the Eastern Conference. A win over the Rockets or a Raptors loss Miami on Monday would end the “suspense.”
The Bucks are seeking their second straight season-series sweep of the Rockets, having won 117-111 at Houston on Opening Night in October. Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed a triple-double (30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists) to the win.
The Bucks held the Celtics to 11-of-37 shooting (29.7 percent) on 3-pointers in Friday’s win. Milwaukee has allowed opponents to shoot 35.5 percent on 3’s for the season, 17th in the league.
Houston Rockets Preview
The Houston Rockets (41-24) are one of just two teams (along with the Raptors) to draw both the Bucks and Lakers among their final eight opponents. They are coming off a 153-149 overtime win over the Mavericks in which James Harden scored 49 points.
The Rockets bombed in 19 3-pointers in the win, with two unlikely sources (Danuel House, 6 of 12; Ben McLemore, 4 of 4) combining for 10 of them. Even if Harden (34.6 points per game) sat out the remaining seven games, Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.8) would need to score 523 points (74.7 per game) to pass him for the NBA scoring lead.
The Rockets haven’t played the Bucks since hosting them on Opening Night in October, when Antetokounmpo outscored Harden 30-19 in a 117-111 win.