|Bulls looking for win in rematch with Bucks|
The Milwaukee Bucks will go for their fourth win in a row when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
It will be the second meeting in five days between the teams, who played Thursday in Milwaukee in their first showdown of the season. The Bucks pulled away for a 124-115 win in that game thanks to standout performances from Giannis Antetokounmpo (38 points, 16 rebounds) and Eric Bledsoe (31 points, eight assists).
Chicago will try to prevent Antetokounmpo from having similar success on Monday, but it will not be easy to slow him down. The 24-year-old is averaging a career-best 30.1 points and shooting 58 percent from the field in 12 starts.
Bucks center Brook Lopez said Antetokounmpo deserves credit for improving his long-range shooting.
"It's special," Lopez told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "(It's) just a testament to how hard of a worker he is, because he's been in the gym all summer, been in the gym every day, constantly, every day just working on his game but obviously working on that as well."
The Bulls enter the game with losses in their past two games, three of four and five of seven. Chicago is coming off a 117-111 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, who did not have Kyrie Irving (shoulder) or Caris LeVert (thumb) in the lineup.
Frustrations are mounting in the Bulls' locker room, where Zach LaVine spoke about the team's sputtering offense.
"We get stagnant a lot out there," LaVine told reporters. "We'll run one action, and then everybody is staring at the person with the ball. We've got to get more fluid. I don't feel a lot of people are in rhythm. When that happens, obviously everybody starts trying to do it themselves.
"It's tough. I blame myself. I try to do that as well. I'm in the gym late. I'm putting up shots. I'm making sure I'm prepared so I can do everything I can to help. We've got to do a better job as a team."
The Bulls remain without veteran swingman Otto Porter Jr. because of a left foot sprain. That means second-year forward Chandler Hutchison will remain in the starting lineup along with Tomas Satoransky, LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
Carter already has eight double-double performances in his first 13 games of the season. The second-year big man from Duke is averaging 13.6 points and 9.8 rebounds, both of which represent a boost from his rookie campaign.
Milwaukee will not have guard Khris Middleton, who is out for an extended period of time because of a left thigh contusion. He averaged 18.5 points in his first 10 games of the season before the injury.
Antetokounmpo is the clear-cut leader of the Bucks' offense, and Bledsoe is more than capable as a No. 2 threat. Brook Lopez is averaging 10.9 points in 12 games, but his twin brother, and teammate, Robin likely will draw a big cheer.
Robin Lopez spent the previous three seasons in Chicago, where he endeared himself to fans with his quirky personality. He is averaging 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in a bench role with the Bucks.
Chicago is 2-4 at home. Milwaukee is 6-2 on the road.
--Field Level Media