Bucks roll with Giannis sidelined

Playing without reigning two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a sprained knee, the Milwaukee Bucks rolled past the Indiana Pacers, 140-113 Monday night at Fiserv Forum.

Milwaukee led 48-26 after the first quarter and never looked back. The 48 points are the fifth-highest points the Bucks have scored in a single quarter in franchise history.

Antetokounmpo hurt his left knee during Milwaukee’s win over San Antonio on Saturday. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters that Antetokounmpo is day-to-day, but the injury is not thought to be serious.

In their MVP’s absence, guard Jrue Holiday was on fire from the field, making 11 of his 15 shots (including 5-6 from the three-point line) in finishing with a season-high 28 points while also dishing out 14 assists. Teammate Khris Middleton chipped in 25 on 10-21 shooting, while Pat Connaughton continues his hot play by making 7-9 from the field (including 6-7 from beyond the arc), finishing with 20 points in 33 minutes on the floor.

Milwaukee (28-14) has now won seven straight games and 12 of their last 13. Despite their red-hot play, they still have not been able to gain ground on equally hot Philadelphia and Brooklyn, trailing the Sixers by 1.5 and the Nets by 1 game in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Bucks will host the (21-22) Boston Celtics on Wednesday.