MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul George scored 20 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the paint during a 16-0 run to take control early in a 110-91 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Russell Westbrook had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Carmelo Anthony scored eight of his 17 points in the pivotal first quarter.
Oklahoma City went from down four to a 20-8 lead on George’s jumper with 4:16 left in the first. It was essentially over from there, especially with the way Westbrook kept finding driving lanes.
The reigning MVP dished off to Steven Adams in the paint when he wasn’t taking it to the hoop himself. Adams finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jerami Grant added 17 points off the bench for the Thunder.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting. But the NBA’s scoring leader spent much of the first quarter on the bench with two fouls, and the Bucks struggled from the 3-point line, opening 1 of 14.
No other Buck scored in double figures.
The star-laden Thunder taught a lesson to the up-and-coming Bucks, who hope to contend in the Eastern Conference.
Thunder: George, Anthony, Adams and Westbrook combined for 48 first-half points. The quartet alone outscored the Bucks in the half, who trailed 60-42 at halftime. … Among the star trio of Anthony, George and Westbrook, Anthony was the last to leave the floor for the night, playing until there were 6 minutes left in the game with the Thunder leading by 23.
Bucks: The team had trouble getting anything going offensively with Antetokounmpo in foul trouble. Tony Snell and Thon Maker hit back-to-back 3s late in the first half to end the 1-of-14 stretch. Milwaukee finished 9 of 30 for the night from behind the arc. … C Greg Monroe’s inside presence was missed. The veteran is out for at least another 12 days with a strained left calf. The 6-foot-11 Monroe helps open up the floor with his ability to score in the lane.
Thunder: Host the Boston Celtics on Friday.
Bucks: Visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
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Paul George, Thunder cruise to 110-91 win over Bucks – USA TODAY