The Milwaukee Bucks will try to win their 16th straight game tonight without their top scorer and best player.
The Bucks announced that Giannis Antetokounmpo will not play against the New Orleans Pelicans (9:30 ET, ESPN) because of soreness in his right quadriceps.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is out (right quad tendon soreness) for tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/JefVADArgV
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 11, 2019
Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.9 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists this season and has a streak of nine consecutive games with 25 or more points while shooting 50% or better. This will be his first missed game of 2019-20 (last season, he missed 10 games).
Milwaukee has won 19 of its last 20 games and is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA’s best record at 21-3. A victory against the Pelicans would push the Bucks’ win streak to 16 — the second-longest run in team history. It would also give the Bucks their best start in franchise history through 25 games.
Antetokounmpo, the reigning Kia MVP winner, is averaging career highs in scoring and rebounding and is on pace to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain (twice) and Elgin Baylor as the only players to average 30 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in a season. Antetokounmpo also leads the NBA with a season-best 13 games of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
His absence means the Bucks will likely rely on Donte DiVincenzo, Wesley Matthews, Ersan Ilyasova, Sterling Brown and Pat Connaughton to try and replace some of Antetokounmpo’s production. DiVincenzo has played particularly strong defense during the Bucks’ streak, averaging 1.8 steals per game, while Matthews has upped his production as well (9.8 ppg, 41.8% on 3-pointers).