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Jokic's triple-double leads Nuggets to 128-97 rout of Bucks

Nikola Jokic had 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his ninth triple-double of the season and 50th of his career, and the Denver Nuggets trounced Milwaukee 128-97 on Tuesday to snap the Bucks’ five-game winning streak.

Jamal Murray added 24 points as the Nuggets earned their third straight victory and showed no signs of wear one night after winning 118-112 at Chicago. Denver handed Milwaukee its most lopsided loss of the year and shot 55.8%, the highest field-goal percentage by any Bucks opponent this season.

Giannis Antetokoumpo had 27 points and eight rebounds for Milwaukee as the Bucks finished an eight-game homestand in which they went 5-3. Khris Middleton added 20 points.

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo shoots over Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Antetokounmpo had his string of four straight games with at least 35 points end. The reigning two-time MVP was one off the team record owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored at least 35 points in five straight games on two separate occasions during the 1972-73 season.

P.J. Dozier had 19 points, Will Barton 14, Michael Porter Jr. 11 and Monte Morris 10 for Denver. Brook Lopez had 12 points for Milwaukee.

Antetokounmpo shot 10 of 15 overall and recorded dunks on three straight possessions early in the first quarter. But the Bucks couldn’t slow down the Nuggets, who led 37-23 after going on a 15-2 run to close the first quarter.

Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray tries to get past Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Denver extended the margin to 21 in the second quarter and led 64-50 at halftime as the Nuggets continually got open looks near the basket.

The Nuggets stayed in control throughout the third quarter and carried a 99-80 lead into the final period. Milwaukee scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to get the margin down to 13, but Denver responded with a 9-1 run and never was threatened again.

TIP-INS

Denver Nuggets' Isaiah Hartenstein fouls Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Nuggets: Jokic is one assist short of having three straight triple-doubles. He had 39 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists Monday at Chicago. In the game before that, Jokic had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a 126-96 rout of Oklahoma City.

Bucks: Jrue Holiday came off the bench for a second straight game after missing 10 games due to COVID-19. Holiday played 18 minutes and had four points and three assists. … Reserve forward Torrey Craig entered the game late in the first quarter for his first appearance since Feb. 18. Craig, who was part of the Nuggets from 2017-20, hadn’t played at all during the Bucks’ five straight wins … The Bucks and Fiserv announced they were teaming up to give out $10,000 grants to 20 different minority-owned small businesses in the Milwaukee area as part of a forum the team conducted Monday at Fiserv Forum.

UP NEXT

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Nuggets: At Indiana on Thursday to cap a four-game road swing.

Bucks: At Memphis on Thursday in their first road game since Feb. 14.

Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Denver Nuggets' Isaiah Hartenstein and Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez go after a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez tries to stop Denver Nuggets' Will Barton during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)