NBA Basketball

99
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Denver 27 26 20 26 99
Milwaukee 26 32 23 26 107
107
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 25, 2023
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MVP battle: Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks face Nikola Jokic's Nuggets

According to STATS
According to STATS

Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks

  1. The Nuggets are 4-2 (.667) in the second game of back-to-backs this season while the Bucks are 7-1 (.875) when opponents are on a back-to-back. Only the Heat (7-0) and Clippers (3-0) have been better when their opponent has no rest this season.
  2. Denver is coming off a 99-98 win over the Pelicans on Tuesday. The Nuggets are 13-5 (.722) in games decided by five or fewer points this season, with only the Nets (10-3, .769) having a better record in such games.
  3. Jamal Murray is averaging 21.3 points per game this month on 48.5 percent shooting. Murray has scored more than 15 points in 11 consecutive games, one game shy of the longest streak of his career.
  4. The Bucks are coming off a 150-130 win over the Pistons on Monday. The 150 points are the fourth most in a regulation game in Bucks history and the highest in any regulation road game in team history.
  5. Brook Lopez paired two blocked shots with two made three-pointers in Monday's win. It was his 18th game this season with multiple blocks and multiple made threes, six more such games than the next closest player (Kevin Durant, 12).
  6. In 12 career games against Brook Lopez, Nikola Jokic is shooting 50.7 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from three, and a perfect 32-for-32 from the free-throw line. Lopez, however, has won eight of those 12 matchups.
(AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic own the last four MVP trophies, with both winning in consecutive years while bolstering the reputation of foreign-born players in the NBA.

Both are having MVP-worthy seasons this year, and they will have a chance to state their cases when Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks host Jokic's Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Not only is the game a clash of MVPs, but it also is a matchup of two of the best teams in the NBA. Milwaukee is third in the Eastern Conference, four games behind the Boston Celtics for the top spot, while Jokic has led Denver to the best record in the Western Conference.

The Bucks are coming off a 150-point performance in a win at Detroit on Monday night. Milwaukee got Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton back in the lineup, and the duo supercharged the offense.

Antetokounmpo had missed five games with a lingering knee issue, and Middleton had not played since Dec. 15.

Middleton missed the first 20 games of the season after undergoing wrist surgery in the offseason, then was shut down after seven games in December due to knee soreness. He played 15 minutes in the win over the Pistons, amassing eight points and four assists.

"The band is back together," Antetokounmpo said. "It's good to see him out there, run up and down, connect with him, play with him. It's been a long time. He was doing rehab and going through the battle by himself.

"The healthier we are, the more chance we have to play our best basketball late in the season."

Jokic missed two games because of left hamstring tightness before returning Tuesday in a 99-98 win at New Orleans on Tuesday night. Jokic had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth straight triple-double and his 15th this season.

He also saved the Nuggets from losing a game they led by 19 in the third quarter, hitting a jumper in the lane with 16.9 seconds to go.

Denver was still without Michael Porter Jr., who missed his second game in a row due to personal reasons, and Bones Hyland, sidelined due to a finger sprain.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone rejoined the team after missing four games while in health and safety protocol. Denver went 3-1 under acting coach David Adelman, but its nine-game winning streak and run of 16 straight home victories came to an end against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

"You miss the camaraderie, but you also miss the ebbs and flows of a game, the emotions of a game," Malone said after the Tuesday game. "It was great to be back, and more importantly, it was great for this team to get another win and start this road trip off on a positive note."

The Nuggets have been playing the best basketball in the NBA since early December. They lost at home to Dallas on Dec. 6 to fall to 14-10 but since then have won 20 of 24 to move within a half-game of Boston for the best record in the NBA.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 25, 2023

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