The game was already well in hand for the Milwaukee Bucks, but a thunderous dunk by Giannis Antetokounmpo in the final minute provided an exclamation point on a successful stretch of three home games in four days.
Antetokounmpo finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and the Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 117-100 on Saturday night for their third consecutive victory.
Milwaukee is five games over .500 for the first time since Feb. 28, 2015, and is off to its best start through 25 games since also starting 15-10 in the 2005-06 season.
“As a team, we’re growing up and understanding what it takes to win in this league,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “It’s not easy. The week didn’t start off well for us (with a loss to Boston) but we ended it on a positive note. Now we turn the page to another week with another three in four.”
The Bucks built a 22-point lead early in the fourth and held on after the Jazz pulled within single digits.
Antetokounmpo scored 24 points in the second half, drawing chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the home crowd on multiple occasions. Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe each added 20 points.
“Coming out of the half, we talked here in the meeting, we said we got to finish this game and not give them chances,” Antetokounmpo said. “So that was what I was trying to do, and that is why I came out playing hard.”
Milwaukee led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter before Utah went on a 19-5 run to pull to 44-42 on a pair of free throws by Ricky Rubio with 1:50 until halftime.