Bucks’ Giannis, Middleton one of NBA’s two 40-point duos

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have both scored over 40 points in a game this season.

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo had his quietest game of the season on Wednesday, held back by early foul trouble in a 14-point effort against the Charlotte Hornets.

But the NBA’s reigning Most Improved Player still made a dent in the box score, blocking two shots and picking up a pair of steals for his 26th game with at least two stuffs and two swipes since last season.

That leads the NBA by a large margin.

Most games w/ 2+ steals and 2+ blocks, since 2016-17

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mil 26
Anthony Davis, NO 19
Andre Drummond, Det 16
Draymond Green, GS 16
Robert Covington, Phi 14

The 14-point game was a rarity for Antetokounmpo, who hadn’t finished a game with less than 28 points all season. He’s been scoring a league-leading 31.1 points per game while shooting 60 percent from the floor.

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Khris Middleton took over the scoring role on Wednesday from Antetokounmpo, racking up a career-high 43 points. His surge — plus Antetokounmpo’s 44 points against the Portland Trail Blazers Oct. 21 — made the Bucks one of two teams to boast a pair of 40-point scorers, joining the surprising 6-2 Orlando Magic (Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon).

The Bucks take their 40-point duo into a Friday night road matchup with the Detroit Pistons, who are 5-3 on the year and led by rising star Tobias Harris and double-double machine Andre Drummond.

NOTABLE

— Milwaukee has a 7-5 advantage over the Pistons since 2014-15.

— The Bucks are shooting 48.5 percent from the field, third best in the NBA. It’s the sixth-best start in field-goal percentage in franchise history through eight games. The highest percentage was 50.6, set in 1997-98.

— Detroit’s defense allows just 98.7 points per game at home since last season, the fourth-lowest total in the NBA.

— Harris has five games against the Bucks in which he’s scored over 20 points.

Statistics courtesy STATS