Bucks beat Brooklyn again to clinch playoff spot, season tiebreaker

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Milwaukee punched its ticket to the postseason for a fifth straight year with a 124-118 win Tuesday night over Brooklyn.

The Bucks were outscored by 10 in the third quarter, allowing the Nets to take a 2-point lead into the fourth. But Milwaukee played some suffocating defense in the final period, holding Brooklyn to just 24 points. That included just two for Kevin Durant, who finished with 32 points.

The trio of Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton combined for 82 of Milwaukee’s points. Holiday added 10 assists and eight rebounds, while Donte DiVincenzo posted 10 points and 15 rebounds. Bryn Forbes gave the Bucks 14 points off the bench.

Kyrie Irving had a game-high 38 points but Brooklyn was 10 points worse than the Bucks when he was on the floor.

The win allowed Milwaukee to grab the season tiebreaker with the Nets, which could come into play for seeding in the playoffs. The Bucks now sit just 1.5 games back of Brooklyn for the second seed in the Eastern Conference with seven games to play.

Milwaukee is in the playoffs for a fifth straight year, the franchise’s longest streak since going to eight straight in the mid-80s and early-90s.

The Bucks will welcome Washington to town Wednesday night.