Jevon Carter stepped up when the Bucks needed him most.

The former WVU star had a career game on Wednesday, taking the lead for Milwaukee in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo and scoring a personal-best 36 points as the Bucks topped the Oklahoma City Thunder 138-132 in double overtime. Carter was one of two Bucks who played over 40 minutes as he earned his 11th start of the season.

Carter was the hot hand, nailing five three-pointers and shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Four of those makes from behind the arc came in his unstoppable first half when he scored 21 of his points.

By the end of the game, the native Illinoisan had spent so much time on the court that he lost track of his made shots.

“That game was too long,” he said.

Carter told Bally Sports Wisconsin the exact moment he knew he was going to have a game like that.

“When I woke up,” he said.

In addition to the career-high 36 points, Carter distributed 12 assists, another career high. He added a steal on the defensive end and four rebounds.

Carter has started all of Milwaukee’s games this season as the depleted Bucks hold the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They had a historic start to the season, opening the campaign with a franchise-record nine straight wins before suffering their first loss on Monday to the Atlanta Hawks.

Milwaukee’s success has come despite the absence of several key players, including Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton, both of whom have yet to appear in a game as they recover from injuries. Antetokounmpo missed his second game of the season with a sore knee on Wednesday, while guard Jrue Holiday missed his first contest of the season.

Those vacancies have allowed players like Carter to shine, although his Thursday performance stands out among the rest. Carter averages 8.1 points, 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 26 minutes per game this season, all of which are career-highs.

“The sky is the limit for us,” Carter said. “All we have to do is keep doing what we’re doing, work hard every day, get better every day.”