Westbrook claims bragging rights in marquee matchup
American Westbrook finished just shy of his fourth triple double of the season, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and collecting nine assists for the Thunder in front of a crowd of 18,700 at the Bradley Center arena.
The game was billed as a matchup between the defending league MVP Westbrook and the early season front runner for the award Bucks superstar Antetokounmpo.
But unlike Greece’s Antetokounmpo, Westbrook got plenty of help from his supporting cast Tuesday as Paul George
scored a team-high 20 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 17.
Jeremi Grant also finished with 17 for the Thunder, who shot 49 percent and improved to 4-3 on the season.
“I thought we played a great game on offense in the first half,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said. “We really moved the ball well and we generated high-quality shots.”
The 22-year-old Antetokounmpo led the Bucks but failed to reach the 30-point mark for just the second time this season.
Antetokounmpo, who grew up in Athens and is of Nigerian descent, hit nine of 14 shots, including a pair of three-pointers. But Milwaukee shot just 42.1 percent overall as they lost their second game in the last three.
“They just played better than us,” Antetokounmpo said. “They were more physical than us. We need to do a better job of being ready, especially against teams like OKC.”
Oklahoma City wasted little time setting the tone, using a 16-0 run to jump out to a 20-8 first-quarter lead. Antetokounmpo drew his third foul just a minute into the second quarter and spent the next eight minutes on the bench.
Milwaukee struggled to keep pace without him and fell behind by as many as 24 before going into halftime down 60-42.