The Milwaukee Bucks have been an NBA laughingstock for much of the past 45 years. They won their lone NBA championship in 1971, and have largely been a pro basketball wasteland since the early 1990s, with their 2001 appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals standing alone among their team's major accomplishments during that span.

But that has been quickly changing this season. They stand atop the league with a 52-17 record and are led by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. He could be the NBA's leading candidate for regular season MVP.

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Many people feel like they are the favorites to reach the NBA Finals. They lead the league in defensive efficiency, and they also rank fifth in offensive efficiency and second in points per game.

But on Friday, March 15, they put forth a dismal performance in the first half of their contest against the Miami Heat, a team that is fighting to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the east. The Bucks quickly fell behind 25-8, then 37-14 near the end of the first quarter before heading to the locker room down 62-42 at the half.

Then Milwaukee turned on the jets and doused the Heat in a hurry. They did it by outscoring Miami by a lopsided 71-36 margin in the second half, holding the home team to just 18 points apiece in the third and fourth quarters en route to a 113-98 rout.

The Greek Freak is the real deal

Antetokounmpo led the onslaught with 33 points while shooting 12-19 from the field. He was aided by 21 points and eight assists by fellow All-Star Khris Middleton.

"It doesn't matter if you're down 20, 15, 10,'' said Antetokounmpo, who also had 16 rebounds and nine assists.

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"We're going to keep playing hard. It's a process. You've got to win games like this. You've got to face adversity when you're playing on the road. In the playoffs, it's not going to be easy. We want to be a great team and that's why we keep playing hard,'' he added, according to the Washington Post.

For the season, he was averaging 27.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists a game on 57.9 percent shooting coming into Friday's game. With talk around the league that perhaps LeBron James isn't the game's best player anymore amidst a dismal first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Antetokounmpo is garnering more and more consideration as possibly James' heir apparent as the NBA's premier player.

A historic night on both sides

According to ESPN, it was only the second time in 102 attempts that the Bucks had overcome a deficit of at least 20 points at halftime to win a game. The last time they did it was in 1977 when they were down 72-52 at halftime against the New York Knicks and came back to top them 124-123.

For the Miami Heat, it was the fourth time they had lost a game when leading by at least 20 at the half. They finished the night with a 32-36 record, just one game ahead of the Orlando Magic in eighth place in the east.

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