The Miami Heat nullified reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and stunned the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks 105-89 on Monday.

Antetokounmpo matched a season-low with 13 points on six-for-18 shooting as the Heat became the first team to beat the Bucks twice this term.

The Bucks superstar, who also collected 15 rebounds, was limited to just six points in the first half in Miami.

Eastern Conference rivals the Heat were led by Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler's 18 points each, while Bam Adebayo added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

James Harden posted 35 points and eight assists, but the Houston Rockets lost 125-123 away to the lowly New York Knicks.

Russell Westbrook (24), Robert Covington (20, 13 rebounds), Danuel House Jr. (20) and Eric Gordon (11) also had double-digit points for the Rockets in New York.

Rookie guard RJ Barrett tied his season-high with 27 points as the Knicks snapped the Rockets' six-game winning streak.

 

McCollum inspires Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum put on a show with 41 points as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Orlando Magic 130-107. Portland outscored Orlando 38-19 in the final quarter. Nikola Vucevic starred for the Magic with 30 points and 11 rebounds.

Collin Sexton had a game-high 32 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 126-113 loss at home to the Utah Jazz.

 

DeRozan struggles

For someone averaging 22.6 points per game this season, Monday's performance was not up to standard for DeMar DeRozan. The San Antonio Spurs star was just four of 10 from the field for 10 points in 38 minutes of action in a 116-111 defeat against the Indiana Pacers.

 

Fultz fools Blazers

Orlando's Markelle Fultz with the no-look pass against the Trail Blazers.

 

Monday's results

Utah Jazz 126-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
New York Knicks 125-123 Houston Rockets
Portland Trail Blazers 130-107 Orlando Magic
Memphis Grizzlies 127-88 Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat 105-89 Milwaukee Bucks
Chicago Bulls 109-107 Dallas Mavericks
Indiana Pacers 116-111 San Antonio Spurs

 

76ers at Lakers

The Philadelphia 76ers (37-24) will have their hands full away to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (46-13) on Tuesday. The 76ers are missing All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, while Josh Richardson has been ruled out with concussion. The 76ers are 9-22 on the road following their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, while the Western Conference-leading Lakers are 21-7 at Staples Center.

LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers past the New Orleans Pelicans, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was in spectacular form in the NBA on Sunday.

James' triple-double of 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds helped the Lakers bounce back from their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies with a 122-114 victory over the Pelicans.

Zion Williamson, the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, delivered one of the best performances of his young career with a career-high 35 points and seven rebounds.

Without Anthony Davis (knee), the Lakers had six players finish with double-digits in points, including Kyle Kuzma (20).

Antetokounmpo powered the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks past the Charlotte Hornets 93-85.

The 2019 NBA MVP finished with 41 points, 20 rebounds and six assists as the Bucks improved to 52-8.

 

Leonard lifts Clippers, Jokic shines

Kawhi Leonard's 30 points helped the Los Angeles Clippers to a 136-130 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Shake Milton had a game-high 39 points for the 76ers in the absence of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson.

Nikola Jokic's triple-double of 23 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists guided the Denver Nuggets past defending champions the Toronto Raptors 133-118.

The Dallas Mavericks crushed the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-91 as Kristaps Porzingis contributed 38 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Bad Bridges, Biyombo

Miles Bridges (seven points in 35 minutes) and Bismack Biyombo (eight points in 22 minutes) combined to go five-of-21 from the field in the Hornets' loss.

 

LeBron, Zion put on a show

James and Williamson thrilled during the Lakers' win over the Pelicans.

Sunday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 93-85 Charlotte Hornets
Dallas Mavericks 111-91 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Clippers 136-130 Philadelphia 76ers
Denver Nuggets 133-118 Toronto Raptors
Sacramento Kings 106-100 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 122-114 New Orleans Pelicans
Washington Wizards 124-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Bucks at Heat

The Bucks (52-8) will aim for a seventh straight win when they face the Heat (38-22) in Miami on Monday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo insisted he was not looking for a "back-and-forth" with James Harden but defended his style of play after the Houston Rockets star suggested his power game "takes no skill at all".

The reigning NBA MVP mocked Harden's high usage rate and lax defensive game during the All-Star break, prompting a response this week.

Seemingly referring to Antetokounmpo, Harden told ESPN: "I wish I was seven feet and could just run and dunk. That takes no skill at all."

Antetokounmpo, the clear favourite to be named MVP again, put up 32 points and 13 rebounds as his Milwaukee Bucks improved to 51-8 on Friday with a 133-86 thrashing of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Greek was asked about Harden's comments after the game, but he told ESPN: "There's not a back-and-forth. [I have] never tried to take shots at somebody."

Antetokounmpo was more open in discussing his style in an indirect question following Harden's criticisms, though.

"My game is not just power, for sure," he said. "I came in when I was 18, I was 180 pounds, so to power through big guys was kind of tough.

"But obviously, there are going to be times where you've got to power through guys. Like one of the best players, LeBron, Michael Jordan, Kobe and all those guys, Shaq, all those guys, they were extremely physical with their play.

"They made their presence felt in the paint, but obviously I try to work on my game, mid-range shots, threes, being able to screen and roll faster and make the right pass. It's hard to drive full speed and try to make the right pass to the corner.

"I try to get my passes more accurate and it's a lot of things I'm still adding, and hopefully, when I add all those things in my game, I'm a more complete player and I'm better and can help my team win and the game is easier."

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks humbled the Oklahoma City Thunder 133-86.

The Bucks showed no mercy as they handed the Thunder their worst loss of the season – a 47-point defeat in Milwaukee on Friday.

Bucks star and reigning MVP Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points and 13 rebounds at home to the streaking Thunder.

The Thunder had won five straight games, but Oklahoma City were no match for the devastating Bucks – who made a season-high 21 three-pointers as they improved to 51-8.

Chris Paul posted 18 points for the Thunder (37-23), while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11) was the only other player in double-digits.

Paul George recorded 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 19 as the Los Angeles Clippers eased past Western Conference rivals the Denver Nuggets 132-103.

It was the Clippers' 40th win of the season as Doc Rivers' team reigned supreme at Staples Center.

 

Williamson stays hot

Zion Williamson became the first player in NBA history to record 20-plus points in 10 straight games before the age of 20. The New Orleans Pelicans rookie finished with 24 points in the 116-104 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Luka Doncic celebrated his 21st birthday on Friday and the Dallas Mavericks star put up 23 points and 10 assists. However, Doncic – playing with an aching thumb – did not have a memorable birthday as the Mavs lost 126-118 at the Miami Heat.

A first career triple-double from Aaron Gordon (17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists) inspired the Orlando Magic to a 136-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Terrence Ross had a season-high 33 points.

It was another big performance from Bradley Beal. The Washington Wizards guard had 42 points and 10 assists in his team's 129-119 defeat to the Utah Jazz.

Derrick Rose's 31 points helped the Detroit Pistons snap a seven-game skid by topping the Phoenix Suns 113-111.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points and collected a career-high 25 rebounds in the Memphis Grizzlies' 104-101 defeat against the Sacramento Kings.

 

McCaw goes scoreless

Patrick McCaw is a three-time NBA champion – twice with the Golden State Warriors and once with the Toronto Raptors – but he did not look like one on Friday. The 24-year-old did not score a point in Toronto's shock 99-96 loss at home to the Charlotte Hornets. He was 0 of six from the field, while he missed both of his three-point attempts in 20 minutes.

Dallas' Dorian Finney-Smith also struggled. Finney-Smith played 27 minutes, going 0 of four from the field and the same from beyond the arc for just three points as a starter.

 

Spider man!

Donovan Mitchell hammered home the slam against the Wizards. He ended the game with 30 points.

 

Friday's results

Orlando Magic 136-125 Minnesota Timberwolves
Atlanta Hawks 141-118 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 99-96 Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat 126-118 Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento Kings 104-101 Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks 133-86 Oklahoma City Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 113-111 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 129-119 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets XX-XX Los Angeles Clippers

 

Rockets at Celtics

James Harden and the Houston Rockets (38-20) travel to the Boston Celtics on Saturday, riding a five-game winning streak. The Celtics (41-17) have won back-to-back games.

James Harden did not appear to take kindly to light-hearted criticism from Giannis Antetokounmpo during the All-Star break as he suggested the NBA MVP's style of play "takes no skill at all".

Houston Rockets star Harden is renowned for his high usage rate, and All-Star captain Antetokounmpo instead selected Kemba Walker at the recent draft.

The Greek said: "I want somebody that's going to pass the ball."

Then, after the game, which Harden's Team LeBron won, Antetokounmpo claimed Team Giannis had targeted "whoever James Harden was guarding".

Harden was asked about the comments on ESPN's The Jump this week and did not appear amused.

"I average more assists than [Walker], I think," said Harden, who averages 7.3 assists to Walker's 5.0. "I don't see what the joke is.

"But I didn't even see [the comments] - I don't pay attention to stuff like that. I just know they keep mentioning me."

Seemingly referring to Antetokounmpo, he added: "I wish I was seven feet and could just run and dunk. That takes no skill at all.

"I've got to actually learn how to play basketball, how to have skill. I'd take that any day."

Antetokounmpo is the favourite to be named the MVP again, with the Milwaukee Bucks on course to claim the number one seed in the Eastern Conference once more.

However, Harden was not impressed by the 'MVP Ladder' on the league's official website that did not rank him in the top five contenders in mid-February.

"It's crazy. I still lead the league in scoring," he said. "That's something I can't control.

"Around the league, if you named the top five players that are getting double-teamed... Nobody's mentioning that.

"I'm not the type to say it or broadcast it, I'm just going to go out there and try to win games. That's what I've been trying to do."

Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledged he had last season's Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals defeat to the Toronto Raptors on his mind as the Milwaukee Bucks won in Canada on Tuesday.

Eventual champions the Raptors rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to dump out Antetokounmpo's number one seed Bucks at Scotiabank Arena in May.

But the two teams are leading the way again in the east this year, and Milwaukee brought up 50 wins with a 108-97 success on their first return to Toronto since the playoffs.

Reigning MVP and 2019-20 candidate Antetokounmpo put up 19 points and 19 rebounds, and the victory was particularly encouraging as he witnessed a postseason atmosphere on the road.

"Yeah, you expect that [atmosphere]," he said. "It's the second time we've faced Toronto.

"We got the first one at home, and you know they're going to try to come out, set the tone and play hard. They're a team that don't stop playing hard.

"That's why they win so many games, that's why they're so good. You expect that, and we knew we had to come out here and earn it."

Asked whether he had thought of the previous meeting, the Greek added: "Obviously, obviously.

"You always remember the last time you played here, the performance you had. It was definitely on my mind."

Antetokounmpo would not be distracted, even as rapper Drake brought out WWE championship belts in a nod to a wrestling video the Bucks posted of their star man the previous day.

Toronto icon Drake had played the part of cheerleader as the Raptors roared past Antetokounmpo in May, yet the 25-year-old was not concerned by the superfan's latest attempts to get under his skin.

"I didn't notice that. I just found out about it. Somebody told me," Antetokounmpo said. "When I'm in the game, I'm just locked in, trying to win the game.

"I really don't look outside at the fans, at what they're doing.

"That's good [that Drake wanted to antagonise me]. He cares about me? I didn't know it. I'm just here to win games and help my team win."

LeBron James inspired the Los Angeles Lakers to a sixth straight win, while the Milwaukee Bucks secured their 50th victory of the NBA season.

James posted a season-high 40 points in the Lakers' 118-109 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

Anthony Davis had a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds, while James went 17-of-27 from the field while also contributing eight rebounds and six assists.

The top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Zion Williamson poured in 29 points for the Pelicans.

In a battle between the Eastern Conference's top two, the Bucks were too good for the Toronto Raptors 108-97.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 19 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists as Milwaukee improved to 50-8.

 

Terrific Tatum, super Sabonis

Jayson Tatum lifted the Boston Celtics past the Portland Trail Blazers 118-106 with 36 points, going eight-of-12 from three-point range.

Domantas Sabonis' 21 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists helped the Indiana Pacers thrash the Charlotte Hornets 119-80.

Zach LaVine's 41 points were not enough for the Chicago Bulls, who were edged by the Oklahoma City Thunder 124-122.

 

Horrible Hornets

Charlotte are now 3-7 in their past 10 after the heavy loss to the Pacers. Terry Rozier went two-of-13 from the field for five points in 26 minutes.

 

LeBron, Caruso combine

Alex Caruso delivered a pass through his legs for James to dunk home.

Tuesday's results

Indiana Pacers 119-80 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 108-97 Toronto Raptors
Oklahoma City Thunder 124-122 Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets 115-98 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 118-109 New Orleans Pelicans
Boston Celtics 118-106 Portland Trail Blazers
Sacramento Kings 112-94 Golden State Warriors

 

Celtics at Jazz

The Celtics (40-17) look for back-to-back wins when they visit the Utah Jazz (36-21) on Wednesday.

Bradley Beal is delighted to be in esteemed company after becoming the first player since the late Kobe Bryant to drop 50-plus points on consecutive nights.

The 26-year-old followed up his 53-point showing in the Washington Wizards' 126-117 loss to the Chicago Bulls with a career-high 55 against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

Despite Beal's impressive scoring, the Wizards were unable to pull off an upset as they fell to a 137-134 loss to the Eastern Conference leaders after overtime, with Khris Middleton pouring in 40 points.

Beal's big game came on the day Bryant was memorialised at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles following his tragic death in a helicopter crash last month.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend was the last player to reach half a century on successive nights in March 2007, something Beal was not aware of heading into the game.

"Oh man, that's crazy," he told NBC Sports Washington. "I didn't know that. That's who Kobe was. 

"That was his drive and that ceremony today just brought the feeling, the tears all back again today."

Beal joins a list of just three players to have scored 53-plus in back-to-back games, alongside James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain.

"It's pretty damn cool. That's pretty cool," he is quoted as saying by The Athletic. "I wanna win, but that's a cool attribute. 

"Those are two greats, two Hall of Famers for sure. And I'm happy to be in good company.

"I was just locked in and I was having fun. It was definitely the most fun game I've ever played in."

The Los Angeles Clippers ended their losing streak in the NBA on Monday, while Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal produced career-highs.

The Clippers snapped a three-game losing run by crushing the Memphis Grizzlies 124-97.

Kawhi Leonard had 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Montrezl Harrell contributed 22 off the bench.

Embiid delivered a career-high 49 points, to go with 14 rebounds, as the Philadelphia 76ers eased past the Atlanta Hawks 129-112.

Meanwhile, Beal's career-high 55 points were not enough for the Washington Wizards.

He became the first player to score 50 or more points on back-to-back nights since the late Kobe Bryant in March 2007.

The Wizards almost upset the Milwaukee Bucks before falling 137-134 after overtime, with Khris Middleton pouring in 40 points.

 

Harden hot as Doncic lifts Mavs

James Harden led the way for the Houston Rockets with his 37 points and nine assists in a 123-112 win over the New York Knicks.

The Dallas Mavericks eased past the Minnesota Timberwolves 139-123 as Luka Doncic posted 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Aaron Gordon's double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds helped the Orlando Magic past the Brooklyn Nets 115-113.

 

Bad Brooks

Dillon Brooks struggled massively for Memphis, going one-of-seven from the field for just four points in 25 minutes.

 

Brilliant Beal

Beal was at his best against the Bucks.

Monday's results

Cleveland Cavaliers 125-119 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 129-112 Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks 137-134 Washington Wizards
Orlando Magic 115-113 Brooklyn Nets
Houston Rockets 123-112 New York Knicks
Dallas Mavericks 139-123 Minnesota Timberwolves
Phoenix Suns 131-111 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers 124-97 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Bucks at Raptors

The Eastern Conference's top two do battle in Toronto on Tuesday. The Bucks (49-8) are eyeing their 50th win of the season and are seven games clear of the Raptors (42-15).

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers came out on top 114-112 against Jayson Tatum's Boston Celtics in the NBA on Sunday.

James nailed a fallaway jump shot with 30 seconds remaining as the Lakers prevailed, despite Tatum's 41 points at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"I had been setting him [Tatum] up all night with the back-down to the drop step to the baseline," James said. "I figured he would sit on it, thinking I would try it again, so I just went to my back-down, gave a little Dream Shake to the baseline and was able to open up the middle and get my fadeaway."

Lakers superstar James finished with 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Western Conference leaders, who extended their winning streak to five games as Celtics great Bill Russell watched from the sideline.

Anthony Davis posted 32 points and 13 rebounds, while the Celtics played without Kemba Walker (left knee soreness) for the second straight game.

The Milwaukee Bucks did not play on Sunday but the NBA leaders still made history thanks to the Chicago Bulls.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks became the fastest team in NBA history to clinch a playoff spot after the Chicago Bulls beat the Washington Wizards.

The Bucks secured a postseason berth through 56 games on February 23, topping the Golden State Warriors' record – set on February 25 in 2017 after 58 appearances.

 

Zion stars in San Francisco

Zion Williamson flexed his muscles with 28 points and seven rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans soared past the lowly Golden State Warriors 115-101. Jrue Holiday scored 11 of his 23 points in the final quarter.

A career-high 53 points from Bradley Beal were not enough for the Wizards, who went down 126-117 to the Bulls. Coby White's 33 points saw him join Michael Jordan as the only Bulls rookies with 30 or more points in successive games.

Double-doubles from Serge Ibaka (15 points, 15 rebounds) and Kyle Lowry (16 points, 11 assists) inspired defending champions the Toronto Raptors to a 127-81 demolition of the Indiana Pacers.

A 131-103 win over the San Antonio Spurs was memorable for the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was Oklahoma City's largest victory margin ever against the Spurs. Chris Paul (12 points, 10 assists), Steven Adams (21 points, 14 rebounds) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22 points, 13 rebounds) all had double-doubles for the Thunder.

 

Spurs struggle

San Antonio had a night to forget away to the Thunder. The Spurs were just 36.9 per cent from the field, making just 38 of 103 shots. Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan both struggled. Aldridge was three of 10 from the field and he missed all five three-point attempts for eight points. Meanwhile, DeRozan was four of 12 for 11 points.

 

Zion with the slam!

The 2019 number one pick and Pelicans rookie provided another highlight against the Warriors.

 

Sunday's results

Los Angeles Lakers 114-112 Boston Celtics
Denver Nuggets 128-116 Minnesota Timberwolves
Toronto Raptors 127-81 Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls 126-117 Washington Wizards
Oklahoma City Thunder 131-103 San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Pelicans 115-101 Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers 107-104 Detroit Pistons

 

Hawks at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers (35-22) are expected to be without injured All-Star Ben Simmons for Monday's visit of the Atlanta Hawks (17-41). Simmons hurt his back in the loss away to the NBA-leading Bucks. Awful on the road, the 76ers – currently fifth in the Eastern Conference – boast the best home record in the league at 26-2.

The Philadelphia 76ers lost Ben Simmons to injury in another NBA road defeat on Saturday, while the Miami Heat paid tribute to Dwyane Wade.

Simmons left a 119-98 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first quarter after aggravating an existing back problem and will reportedly undergo an MRI on Sunday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo relished his fellow All-Star's absence, putting up 31 points and 17 rebounds in a double-double that condemned Philadelphia to a sixth successive away loss.

The 76ers (35-22) sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, one place behind the Heat (36-20) following their 124-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The win added to a memorable occasion as Miami welcomed former favourite Wade back to AmericanAirlines Arena, officially retiring the number three jersey he wore during the team's NBA championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013.

Wade, 38, retired at the end of last season after returning to the Heat for his career swansong.

 

Harden hot in valuable Houston victory

James Harden hit a game-high 38 points while Russell Westbrook went 14-of-26 for 34 points as the Houston Rockets topped the Utah Jazz 120-110.

The Jazz struggled to handle Houston's small-ball approach and are now level with the Rockets at 36-20.

Kawhi Leonard tallied 31 points and eight rebounds but the Los Angeles Clippers lost for the third time in as many games, going down to the Sacramento Kings 112-103.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks overcame a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-107.

Trae Young and John Collins each recorded double-doubles to inspire the Hawks to their 17th win of a lean campaign.

 

Kawhi a lone performer for cold Clippers

Leonard did his part against the Kings at Staples Center but the reigning MVP had little help from his fellow Clippers starters, all of whom failed to reach double figures for points.

Reggie Jackson and Landry Shamet were particularly culpable, the pair making just three of their combined 12 three-point attempts.

 

Bam drops the hammer

Fresh from winning the Skills Challenge on NBA All-Star Weekend, Heat big man Bam Adebayo put on another show with a huge dunk against the Cavaliers.

 

Saturday's results

Sacramento Kings 112-103 Los Angeles Clippers
Brooklyn Nets 115-86 Charlotte Hornets
Atlanta Hawks 111-107 Dallas Mavericks
Miami Heat 124-105 Cleveland Cavaliers
Phoenix Suns 112-104 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 119-98 Philadelphia 76ers
Houston Rockets 120-110 Utah Jazz

 

Celtics at Lakers

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers entertain Jayson Tatum's Boston Celtics in the pick of Sunday's seven games.

Joel Embiid feels his current run of form, including a 22-point display in the NBA All-Star Game, has proven he is the best player in the world.

Big man Embiid is often maligned despite averaging 23.3 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, with his highly-talented Philadelphia 76ers an underwhelming fifth in the Eastern Conference.

But the 25-year-old has had a big hand in Sixers wins either side of the All-Star break.

Embiid tallied 26 points and nine rebounds as he starred alongside Ben Simmons in a defeat of the Los Angeles Clippers, while a brilliant 39-point, 16-rebound return lifted Philadelphia to an overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, extending their winning run to four games.

In between those two performances, Embiid also managed 22 points and 10 rebounds for Team Giannis as he took on the best the Western Conference had to offer.

It was this display in the All-Star Game that Embiid felt secured his place as the league's elite performer.

"The All-Star game was fun, being there in the fourth quarter doing my thing at the end of the game," he said after seeing off the Nets, who will miss Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the season.

"The game against the Clippers was a good starting spot, but the All-Star game was just proving that I'm here, I belong, being the best player in the world.

"And I just intend to keep coming out every single night and playing hard, just going out and trying to win a championship."

Embiid will have the opportunity to back up his claim on Saturday when the Sixers take on conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks and All-Star captain Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is on course for a second straight MVP award.

"We beat them pretty bad in the first matchup [121-109 in December], they got us the last one [112-101 earlier this month]," Embiid said. "So, it's on us to go out there and try to beat them again."

Giannis Antetokounmpo starred as the Milwaukee Bucks resumed their NBA season with a comfortable win, while the Houston Rockets cruised on Thursday.

Back in action after the All-Star break, the Bucks improved to 47-8 with a 126-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Antetokounmpo finished with a double-double of 33 points and 16 rebounds, while Khris Middleton poured in 28 points.

Eric Bledsoe went eight-of-14 from the field for his 19 points and Brook Lopez contributed 18 for the Bucks.

The Rockets were untroubled by the Golden State Warriors in a 135-105 thrashing.

James Harden (29 points and 10 assists) and Russell Westbrook (21 points and 10 assists) finished with double-doubles.

All five of Houston's starters finished with double-digits for points, with Robert Covington adding 20.

 

Young red-hot as Embiid lifts 76ers

Trae Young had a career-high 50 points in the Atlanta Hawks' 129-124 win over the Miami Heat.

Joel Embiid's double-double of 39 points and 16 rebounds helped the Philadelphia 76ers past the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 after overtime.

Malik Monk's 25 points off the bench helped the Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 103-93.

 

Bulls' slump continues

The Bulls' loss was their seventh straight as they were left with a 19-37 record and in 11th in the Eastern Conference.

 

Young from deep

Young went eight-of-15 from three-point range in a dazzling display.

Thursday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 126-106 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 129-124 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 112-104 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 103-93 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 129-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-105 Golden State Warriors

 

Grizzlies at Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) resume their campaign against the Memphis Grizzlies (28-27) at the Staples Center on Friday.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo picked Real Madrid over Barcelona when presented with an offer ahead of the NBA All-Star Game.

Antetokounmpo will lead Team Giannis against Team LeBron in Chicago on Sunday.

But the reigning NBA MVP faced a different test on Saturday, when he was offered Barcelona and Real Madrid shirts.

"We've got Real Madrid, who's the player though?" Antetokounmpo said, assessing his options.

"I love both of these players, [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, who used to play with Real.

"But I'll probably go with Real. There you go, Real."

Madrid can restore their three-point lead atop LaLiga when they host Celta Vigo on Sunday.

The Toronto Raptors and their 15-game winning streak was snapped by the Brooklyn Nets, while the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks lost without reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Toronto carried a franchise-record run into Wednesday's contest but the defending champions went down 101-91 at the Nets midweek.

It was the Raptors' first defeat since falling to the San Antonio Spurs on January 12.

Kyle Lowry's triple-double of 12 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds were not enough for the Raptors, while Serge Ibaka top scored with 28 points on the road.

Caris LeVert led the Nets by scoring 20 points and Jarrett Allen contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bucks, meanwhile, were beaten by the Indiana Pacers 118-111 in the absence of star Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo missed his second successive game following the birth of his son and the Pacers took advantage, snapping a season-worst six-game losing streak.

Malcolm Brogdon posted 17 points and matched a career-high with 13 assists for the Pacers in Indianapolis, where T.J. Warren stole the show with 35 points.

Donte DiVincenzo was the pick of the Milwaukee players after scoring 19 points off the bench.

 

LeBron lifts Lakers, Doncic dazzles

LeBron James and Anthony Davis put on a show. James posted a triple-double (32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds) and Davis registered 33 points and 10 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Denver Nuggets 120-116 in overtime. They became the first Lakers team-mates with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in the same game since Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in 2008.

Luka Doncic was at it again, putting up 33 points and 12 rebounds to help the Dallas Mavericks beat the Sacramento Kings 130-111.

The streaking Utah Jazz defeated the Miami Heat 116-101 thanks to Donovan Mitchell's 26 points and a Rudy Gobert double-double of 16 points and 20 rebounds.

 

Carmelo and Osman struggle

Carmelo Anthony has shown he is far from a spent force after being picked up by the Portland Trail Blazers in November. However, the 10-time All-Star had a rough night in the 111-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. While collecting 15 rebounds, Anthony was just one of 15 from the floor for five points in 36 minutes. The veteran also missed all four of his three-point attempts.

The Cleveland Cavaliers topped fellow strugglers the Atlanta Hawks 127-105, but Cedi Osman had a game to forget. Osman made just one of 10 shots from the field, while he was one of seven from beyond the arc for three points.

 

LeBron almost breaks the rim!

James has provided countless highlights over the course of his illustrious career and the three-time NBA champion produced another, this time a ferocious dunk.

 

Wednesday's results

Cleveland Cavaliers 127-105 Atlanta Hawks
Orlando Magic 116-112 Detroit Pistons (OT)
Washington Wizards 114-96 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 118-111 Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets 101-91 Toronto Raptors
Memphis Grizzlies 111-104 Portland Trail Blazers
Charlotte Hornets 115-108 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks 130-111 Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz 116-101 Miami Heat
Phoenix Suns 112-106 Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers 120-116 Denver Nuggets (OT)

 

Clippers at Celtics

The two final games before the All-Star Weekend take place on Thursday. The Los Angeles Clippers (37-17) travel to the Boston Celtics (37-16), with both teams coming off losses. The Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans are also in action.

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