CHICAGO (AP) — Brook Lopez scored a season-high 28 points and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a rather quiet performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo to clinch their fourth straight Central Division championship with a 127-106 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
The defending NBA champion Bucks haven’t been on a run like this since Don Nelson’s teams won seven consecutive division titles in the 1980s.
They took control early and came away with an easy win even though DeMar DeRozan scored 40 for Chicago. Patrick Williams added 18 points. Nikola Vucevic struggled, going 3 of 19 and scoring seven points.
But the Bulls once again lost to an elite opponent. They are a combined 2-20 against the top four teams in the East and West.
Chicago also fell to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a game behind Toronto with three to play. The Raptors beat Atlanta.
On the bright side for the Bulls, they did clinch their first playoff berth since 2017. It happened earlier in the night when Cleveland lost to Orlando. That means the Bulls won’t drop into one of the play-in series.