Bucks wrap up top seed in NBA with victory over Bulls

Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton tries to get past Chicago Bulls' Patrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in Milwaukee. (Morry Gash/AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bobby Portis had 27 points and 13 rebounds, starting in place of the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks wrapped up the top seed in the NBA playoffs, beating the Chicago Bulls 105-92 on Wednesday night.

Antetokounmpo was ruled out before the game because of right knee soreness. He had 28 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists against Washington on Tuesday night.

Brook Lopez had 26 points, point guard Jrue Holiday added 20 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds and Jevon Carter had 16 points in a starting role. Khris Middleton started for the Bucks, but played just eight minutes before exiting with right knee soreness. He was 0 for 3 from the floor.

Milwaukee improved to 58-22, fighting back from a 10-point, third-quarter deficit. The Bucks lead fellow Eastern Conference foe Boston by three games with two games remaining.

Jae Crowder and Wes Matthews combined to harass Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan throughout the game, with DeRozan finishing with eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Coby White added 14 points, and Zach LaVine had 13.

The Bulls built a 61-51 lead early in the third quarter, but the Bucks responded with a 15-0 run, paced by six points from Portis and four from Lopez.

The Bulls started the night in 10th place in the East and already having clinched a play-in berth.


Bulls: Guard Alex Caruso was ruled out with a left foot injury, a problem he has dealt with in recent weeks. Caruso played 19 minutes and went scoreless in Chicago’s home loss to Atlanta on Tuesday night. “He doesn’t want to be a liability,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said.

Bucks: Pat Connaughton sprained his right ankle in the first quarter Tuesday and was out Wednesday. “We’re hopeful it’s a very short-term thing,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I would put it in the relatively positive bucket.” … Grayson Allen (right ankle sprain) is out for the rest of the regular-season, but Budenholzer remains hopeful the guard will be ready for the first round of the playoffs which open April 15.


Bulls: At Dallas on Friday night.

Bucks: Host Memphis on Friday night.

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