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Wizards wrap up road trip Tuesday night against Bucks
The Wizards (15-30) close out their four-game road trip Tuesday night in Milwaukee, taking on the Bucks (40-6) at 8:00 P.M. Washington is coming off a loss to the Atlanta Hawks while Milwaukee will play its first game since returning from Paris, where it captured a win over the Hornets on Friday night. Tuesday night’s game will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
Fiserv Forum | 8:00 P.M. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Isaiah Thomas, G – Bradley Beal, F – Isaac Bonga , F – Thomas Bryant, C – Ian Mahinmi
Bucks: G – Eric Bledsoe, G – Wesley Matthews, F – Khris Middleton, F – Ersan Ilyasova, C – Brook Lopez
Wizards: Rui Hachimura (groin injury – out), Garrison Mathews (sprained right ankle – out), Jordan McRae (sprained right ankle – out), Moritz Wagner (sprained left ankle – out), John Wall (left Achilles rehab – out)
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (right shoulder soreness – out), George Hill (left hamstring soreness – available)
Beal looks to stay on a roll
Bradley Beal is coming off one of his best performances of the season, a 40-point, six-assist game against the Hawks on Sunday night. Beal shot 12-22 (.545) from the field and recorded season highs in free throws made (15) and free throws attempted (18). In his last three games, Beal is averaging 38.0 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game, shooting 63.2% from the field on 22.7 attempts per game. Even this season, Beal is no stranger to streaks of such magnitude. From November 13 to November 22, he averaged 37.0 points, 8.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds over a five-game stretch, scoring at least 30 points in each outing. Beal’s current three-game streak of 30-point games is the sixth such streak of his career. Beal has scored 30-plus points in two of his last three games against the Bucks, including a 30-point, eight-rebound, four-assist game in his last outing against Milwaukee.
Bucks top the league in defense, net rating and standings
The Bucks enter Tuesday’s matchup having won eight consecutive games, 13 of their last 14 and 34 of their last 37. During their eight-game winning streak, the Bucks are outscoring their opponents, most of which include non-playoff teams, by 16.0 points per game. The Bucks have been the most consistent and dominant team in the league this season. As other contenders have spent time adjusting to fresh faces and new rotations, this Bucks team, comprised mostly of players returning from last season, have been a juggernaut from the jump. The Bucks’ 40-6 record is tops in the league by four games over the Lakers and the best in the Eastern Conference by eight games over the Raptors. Milwaukee ranks first in net rating (12.1), first in defensive rating (101.2) and second in offensive rating (113.3). The Bucks’ 12.1 net rating is tops in the league by a wide margin, 5.0 points higher than the second-place Lakers.
Bucks playing without Antetokounmpo
For the first time since late December, Milwaukee will be without its best player as defending MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss Tuesday night’s game with right shoulder soreness. The seven-year pro leads the team both figuratively and statistically, setting the tone on each of the court and topping the team in points (30.0), rebounds (12.9) and assists (5.6) per game – and ranking second on the team in steals (1.1) and blocks (1.0) per game. Antetokounmpo is looking to become the first player in league history to average those numbers over the course of a season. Now a four-time All-Star and captain for the second year in a row, he has solidified himself as one of the best players in the league. Milwaukee, however, has hardly missed a beat in the games that Antetokounmpo has missed this season, going 3-0 and winning by an average of 17.3 points per game. In his place Tuesday night, the Bucks will start Ersan Ilyasova.