An upbeat LeBron James outlined the Los Angeles Lakers' determination to bounce back against the Milwaukee Bucks after their long winning streak on the road was ended by the Indiana Pacers.

The Lakers had won 14 games in a row away from their home court, but went down 105-102 to the Pacers on Tuesday in the absence of Anthony Davis (ankle) as Domantas Sabonis contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Next up for James and his team-mates is an eye-catching clash with the Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday - a contest between two teams boasting 24-4 records, comfortably the best in the league.

Asked about the challenge of keeping the team's energy up in what will be their 12th away game out of 15, James told reporters: "That's what we're trying to do - it feels like we've been on the road all year and we have one more game on the road and we pride ourselves on trying not to lose two in a row, so we want to come back on Thursday in Milwaukee and play Laker basketball."

Reflecting on the Lakers' loss to the Pacers, which was sealed when Rajon Rondo missed a deep three-pointer as the buzzer sounded, James added: "We kept our composure [throughout the winning streak], and we did that tonight too. We still had an opportunity to win the game, we just didn't.

"Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way, which is ok. That's how it is.

"We just didn't execute the [final] play to a tee."

While the Lakers' meeting with the Bucks will attract plenty of attention given both sides' form this season, James - a three-time NBA champion and Finals MVP - rejected the suggestion Thursday's game will be "special".

"I'm 17 years in. A regular-season game like that, it's just two teams that are trying to continue to get better and better, but no, it doesn't feel special," he explained.

Giannis Antetokounmpo insists he must make big improvements defensively after the Milwaukee Bucks' 18-game winning run came to an end at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

Antetokounmpo continued his prolific season with a haul of 48 points, 14 rebounds and four assists but could not stop the Mavericks – who were without key man Luka Doncic – from prevailing 120-116.

After a fourth-quarter timeout with three minutes and 13 seconds remaining, the Bucks went 21-9, with Antetokounmpo scoring and drawing a foul with 5.2 seconds remaining.

That concluded a surge towards an unlikely comeback as he missed the free throw to reduce the deficit to three points, but it was 25-year-old forward's all-round game that was the focus of his attention afterwards.

"My dad and my brother always say that to excel and be better you've got to experience adversity," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

"It starts from the leader of the team to the last player. We've got to see what we did wrong.

"I've got to step it up defensively and play way, way better defense to help my team.

"Obviously I want to win, I'm mad about tonight's loss but you've got to take it, learn from it and get better.

"We've got to realise we can lose as a team, we can't win every game. This is going to help us as a team, to bring it every night."

Up next for the Bucks is a mouthwatering clash against the Los Angeles Lakers and Antetokounmpo will be in no mood to take a backwards step when faced with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

"It's going to be a good game, it's going to be a test for us. We've got to bring it," he added.

"We've got to play good basketball, we've got to move the ball. We don't want to lose two in a row.

"They've got two of the top five players in the world."

The Dallas Mavericks ended the Milwaukee Bucks' winning streak at 18 games after prevailing 120-116 in the NBA.

Despite the absence of injured star and MVP candidate Luka Doncic, the Mavericks stopped the red-hot Bucks on Monday.

Not even Giannis Antetokounmpo's 48 points and 14 rebounds were enough to prevent the Bucks from tasting defeat for the first time since November 8.

The Bucks (24-4) were on their longest winning streak since a franchise-record 20 consecutive victories in 1970-71.

Seth Curry and Kristaps Porzingis inspired the Mavericks (18-8) with 26 points apiece on the road in Milwaukee.

 

Rockets rally sets franchise record

Russell Westbrook (31 points) and James Harden (28 points) combined as the Houston Rockets overturned a 25-point deficit to top the San Antonio Spurs 109-107. It is the franchise's largest comeback since Houston rallied from 23 points down against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977.

Pascal Siakam had 33 points and Kyle Lowry posted 20 points and 11 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors past the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers 133-113.

Rookie Ja Morant scored 20 points and supplied 10 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies cooled the Miami Heat 118-111.

CJ McCollum recorded 30 points, Damian Lillard finished with 27 and Carmelo Anthony added 23 as the Trail Blazers edged the Phoenix Suns 111-110. Paul became the second player in NBA history with 18,000 points, 9,000 assists and 2,000 steals.

Zach LaVine's 39 points could not stop the Chicago Bulls from falling 109-106 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were led by Chris Paul's 30 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Cavs get little from bench

It was another tough night for the Cavaliers (6-21), who have lost seven of eight games in December. None of the team's bench players reached double-digit points.

 

Lillard with crucial three-point play

The Blazers guard came up big when his team needed him most. With 25.6 seconds remaining and Portland trailing 110-108, Lillard made a bucket and the foul to put the Blazers ahead and for good.

 

Monday's results

Washington Wizards 133-119 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 133-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks 120-116 Milwaukee Bucks
Oklahoma City Thunder 109-106 Chicago Bulls
Houston Rockets 109-107 San Antonio Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies 118-111 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 111-110 Phoenix Suns

 

Lakers at Pacers

The LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers show rolls into Indiana for Tuesday's clash with the Pacers. The Lakers (24-3) have won seven straight, while the 18-9 Pacers are eyeing their fourth consecutive victory.

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will miss Monday's clash against the Milwaukee Bucks due to an ankle injury.

Doncic sprained his right ankle during the Mavs' 122-118 overtime loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

An NBA MVP contender this season, the 20-year-old was set to face fellow star Giannis Antetokounmpo when the Mavericks visit the Bucks.

However, he was ruled out on Sunday, with the Mavs writing on Twitter: "#Mavericks guard Luka Doncic suffered a right ankle sprain in the first quarter of last night's game against Miami.

"Doncic will not travel with the team to Milwaukee for Monday night's game against the first-place Bucks."

The Mavericks are 17-8 and sit third in the Western Conference, but Doncic's absence is a huge blow.

Doncic is enjoying a stellar season, averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game.

The Milwaukee Bucks need to make the most of their depth and harness the team's winning culture to keep winning without Eric Bledsoe, according to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Point guard Bledsoe will be out for two weeks with the right fibula avulsion fracture suffered in the Bucks' win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

Milwaukee claimed a 125-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers without Bledsoe on Saturday.

The Bucks have won 18 successive games, two shy of their franchise-record run of 20 set in 1971, taking them to 24-3.

Reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo believes they have the resources to thrive in Bledsoe's absence, also suggesting a lay-off of his own would not impact the team's playoff hopes.

"It's tough, one of the best players in the team, he's been playing amazing the whole season, obviously a big piece of the team," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

"We all wish Bled a fast recovery, come back healthy. This team will be exactly how it is right now when he gets back.

"We did it when Khris [Middleton] missed a lot of games - we were able to win games without him. We've got to do it without Bled, and if I ever miss games, they've got to do it without me.

"We've built a winning culture around the team and everybody knows what we've got to do when we step on the floor.

"This team is deep. We've got a deep team, it's insane. It doesn't matter if Bled isn't playing, I'm not playing - I think this team could be a playoff team, it could be a 50-win team.

"Khris, Bled, me, all the other guys, we're big pieces, big parts of this team. At the end of the day, if we miss games, other guys got to get the job done. So far we've been doing that."

The Milwaukee Bucks stretched their winning streak in the NBA to 18 on Saturday, while the Los Angeles Clippers suffered a surprise loss.

The Bucks cruised past the Cleveland Cavaliers 125-108 for an 18th straight win, which is the second longest streak in the team's history.

Milwaukee were once again led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 29 points in just 24 minutes.

The Clippers' four-game winning run came to an end in a 109-106 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls claimed just their 10th victory of the season thanks largely to 31 points from Zach LaVine.

Kawhi Leonard missed the encounter due to a knee injury.

Super Siakam, marvellous Memphis

Pascal Siakam's 30 points helped the Toronto Raptors past the Brooklyn Nets 110-102.

The Memphis Grizzlies went 48-of-84 from the field to claim a 128-111 victory over the Washington Wizards.

 

Doncic scare

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic suffered an ankle injury during the Dallas Mavericks' overtime loss to the Miami Heat.

He played less than two minutes in the defeat.

 

Murray's fine dunk

The Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray set up his own dunk by passing to himself off the backboard.

Saturday's results

San Antonio Spurs 121-119 Phoenix Suns
Toronto Raptors 110-102 Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls 109-106 Los Angeles Clippers
Memphis Grizzlies 128-111 Washington Wizards
Miami Heat 122-118 Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks 125-108 Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Lakers at Hawks

The Los Angeles Lakers (23-3) will be eyeing a seventh straight win when they visit the Atlanta Hawks (6-20) on Sunday.

James Harden produced another 50-point performance in the NBA, while Giannis Antetokounmpo helped the Milwaukee Bucks extend their streak on Friday.

Harden made it back-to-back 50-point games in the Houston Rockets' 130-107 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Coming off a 55-point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Harden had 54 in the win over Orlando.

The Bucks made it 17 straight wins by getting past the Memphis Grizzlies 127-114.

Antetokounmpo had a double-double of 37 points and 11 rebounds in the Bucks' latest victory.

Los Angeles' duos shine

LeBron James (28 points and 12 assists) and Anthony Davis (33 points and 10 rebounds) helped the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 113-110.

The Los Angeles Clippers' stars also impressed. Paul George had 46 points and Kawhi Leonard 42 in a 124-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Philadelphia 76ers are 14-0 at home after Ben Simmons contributed 24 points and 11 assists in a 116-109 win against the New Orleans Pelicans.

 

Bad Bulls

The Chicago Bulls were woeful in an 83-73 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. The Bulls went at just 30 per cent from the field, shooting 27-of-90.

 

Harden hot

Harden continued his irresistible form for the Rockets.

Friday's results

Houston Rockets 130-107 Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers 116-109 New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers 113-110 Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers 110-100 Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Hornets 83-73 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 127-114 Memphis Grizzlies
Utah Jazz 114-106 Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers 124-117 Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks 103-101 Sacramento Kings

 

Pistons at Rockets

Can Detroit (10-15) stop Harden? The Rockets (17-8) host the Pistons on Saturday.

Kawhi Leonard enjoyed a successful return to Toronto on Wednesday, while the Milwaukee Bucks' run continued and James Harden starred in the NBA.

Back in Toronto, where he won the NBA championship last season, Leonard helped the Los Angeles Clippers past the Raptors 112-92.

The star received a tribute video and finished with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds as the Clippers improved to 19-7.

Top of the Eastern Conference, the Bucks clinched a 16th straight win by beating the New Orleans Pelicans 127-112.

Without Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad soreness), Milwaukee still cruised thanks to Eric Bledsoe's 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

Harden had 55 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter, to see the Houston Rockets past the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-110.

 

LeBron lifts Lakers, Graham shines

LeBron James' triple-double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists saw the Los Angeles Lakers improve to 22-3 by beating the Orlando Magic 96-87.

Devonte' Graham starred for the Charlotte Hornets as his 40 points saw them past the Brooklyn Nets 113-108.

A double-double from Rudy Gobert (20 points and 16 rebounds) helped the Utah Jazz claim a 127-116 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

Warriors' woes

The Golden State Warriors (5-21) are the worst team in the NBA after losing to the New York Knicks (5-20). The Knicks ended a 10-game losing streak with a 124-122 overtime win.

 

Morant magic

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, the second pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, produced a nice dunk in a win over the Phoenix Suns.

Wednesday's results

Houston Rockets 116-110 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 122-117 Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers 96-87 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Clippers 112-92 Toronto Raptors
Charlotte Hornets 113-108 Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls 136-102 Atlanta Hawks
Utah Jazz 127-116 Minnesota Timberwolves
Memphis Grizzlies 115-108 Phoenix Suns
Milwaukee Bucks 127-112 New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings 94-93 Oklahoma City Thunder
New York Knicks 124-122 Golden State Warriors

 

76ers at Celtics

The Philadelphia 76ers (18-7) have struggled on the road so far this season and face the Boston Celtics (17-6) at TD Garden on Thursday.

Khris Middleton is making sure he cherishes the incredible season being enjoyed by the Milwaukee Bucks after they chalked up their 15th successive win.

The Bucks scrapped to a 110-101 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday to improve their record to 21-3.

Milwaukee are five wins shy of tying their franchise-record longest winning streak, having gone 20 games without defeat in the 1970-71 campaign.

Middleton was traded to the Bucks in 2013 and experienced a dismal season in which they won just 15 games the entire campaign, and those struggles have helped the swingman better appreciate the success they are now enjoying. 

The 2019 All-Star, who scored 20 points against the Magic, told reporters: "We have come from a season of winning 15 games, to winning 15 in a row, it's a great feeling.

"We all know that it's special to win this many games in a row, you cherish these moments, you have to sometimes not overlook it.

"You've got to sit back and look on these times and not let it go by too quick."

Asked to describe what kind of team the Bucks are, he replied: "Complete team, we're unselfish, from the top guy all the way to the bottom guy, this is a team that wants to have fun out there, play the right way, which is important, and wants to compete, that's what it's all about."

The red-hot Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak as Giannis Antetokounmpo starred again, while the Los Angeles Clippers won without Kawhi Leonard.

Antetokounmpo posted a double-double to lead the Bucks past the Orlando Magic 110-101 and their 15th consecutive NBA victory on Monday.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and 15 rebounds in Milwaukee, where Khris Middleton added 20 points as the Bucks improved to 21-3.

Evan Fournier led the Magic (11-12) – who entered the game on a four-game winning streak – with 26 points.

Paul George starred as the Leonard-less Clippers defeated the Indiana Pacers 110-99 on the road.

With Leonard sitting out, George had 36 points amid a chorus of boos against former team the Pacers – who traded the six-time All-Star to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017 ahead of free agency.

George finished with a season-high seven three-pointers as the Clippers (18-7) won for the fourth time in five games.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points for the Pacers (15-9) in Indiana.

 

Westbrook stars

The Houston Rockets suffered a buzzer-beating 119-118 loss to the Sacramento Kings, but Russell Westbrook put up 34 points and eight assists.

Brandon Ingram recorded 31 points in the New Orleans Pelicans' heartbreaking 105-103 defeat against the Detroit Pistons.

 

Cavs continue to slide

The Cleveland Cavaliers (5-18) are sinking without a trace. Monday's 110-88 loss to the Boston Celtics was their seventh successive defeat and 13th in 14 games.

 

Clutch Rose, Buzzer-beating Bjelica

Derrick Rose nailed a fadeaway jump shot as time expired to lift the Pistons to a win at the Pelicans.

There was also late drama in Houston, where Nemanja Bjelica made a long-range three-pointer on the buzzer as the Kings stunned the Rockets.

 

Monday's results

Los Angeles Clippers 110-99 Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics 110-88 Cleveland Cavaliers
Sacramento Kings 119-118 Houston Rockets
Milwaukee Bucks 110-101 Orlando Magic
Detroit Pistons 105-103 New Orleans Pelicans
Toronto Raptors 93-92 Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns 125-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder 104-90 Utah Jazz
Memphis Grizzlies 110-102 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers face another big test at home. Boasting a 12-0 record at home, the 76ers (17-7) welcome the Denver Nuggets to Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday after seeing off the Raptors last time out. The Nuggets (14-7) have lost back-to-back games.

Doc Rivers felt the Los Angeles Clippers had given Giannis Antetokounmpo "a birthday gift" with their dreadful performance as the Milwaukee Bucks cruised to a 14th consecutive NBA victory.

On his 25th birthday, reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo had 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in only 26 minutes as the Bucks cruised to a 119-91 home win.

An emphatic victory in a game between two teams expected to compete for a place in the NBA Finals saw the Bucks move to 20-3 while the Clippers fell to 16-7.

Rivers' team have gone 3-6 on the road and star duo Kawhi Leonard (17) and Paul George (13) were restricted to 30 points between them before being pulled early in the fourth quarter.

"It was Giannis' birthday, and we searched all over the city to find a gift, couldn't find one, so we gave him this one," coach Rivers said, per ESPN, after Friday's loss.

"That's all I can come up with because we were awful. They were so much more physical than us. It was not even close.

"We have not maximised them [Leonard and George] offensively yet.

"We keep looking at our offensive numbers, and I've been saying it: It's fool's gold. We're not ready offensively yet. Our numbers say different but this is where analytically, I'm right. I can see it."

Leonard and George also had five turnovers each in the Clippers' worst loss of the season.

"We just have to get comfortable with the plays," Leonard said of playing with George. "Just going out there and being able to run it without thinking, getting into our spots early. The flow will come.

"We're just a work in progress. This team has been put together this year. 

"We've got to figure it out. Some of us don't know the plays coming down, and it's hard to get in our sets. We've just got to keep striving."

The Bucks' 14 consecutive wins is their best streak since 1973, with Antetokounmpo their driving force.

"The fans were unbelievable," the Greek said. "They made me feel special. They made this day feel special. 

"Usually a lot of people, their birthday, they celebrate, they go out, they do all that. But that's not me. That's not what I do. But the fans made it really special for me."

The Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to 14 games as birthday boy Giannis Antetokounmpo inspired a 119-91 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Friday's NBA showdown was one-sided in Milwaukee, where the Bucks (20-3) led by as many as 41 points thanks to Antetokounmpo's 21st double-double of the season.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo – celebrating his 25th birthday – scored 27 points and 11 rebounds in under 30 minutes to down Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers on home court.

Leonard had 17 points for the Clippers (16-7), while star team-mate Paul George added 13.

Elsewhere, LeBron James and Anthony Davis guided the Los Angeles Lakers to a 136-113 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.

James put up 31 points and Davis contributed a team-high 39 points as the Lakers (20-3) claimed their 11th successive road win.

 

Butler's triple-double ignites Heat

Jimmy Butler posted 28 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds – his second triple-double of the week – as the Miami Heat downed the Washington Wizards 112-103. The Heat are 9-0 at home for the first time in franchise history.

The Detroit Pistons edged the Indiana Pacers 108-101 thanks to 25 points and 22 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Blake Griffin added 25 points.

Nikola Jokic recorded a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds but the Denver Nuggets still lost 108-95 to the Boston Celtics.

 

Nance struggles

Larry Nance Jr. played a game-high 41 minutes in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 93-87 defeat against the Orlando Magic. While he collected 11 rebounds, Nance managed just four points on two-of-10 shooting from the floor. The 26-year-old also missed all three of his three-point attempts.

 

LeBron the magician

Somehow, James – surrounded by three Blazers players – made this shot in Portland.

 

Friday's results

Orlando Magic 93-87 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 108-101 Indiana Pacers
Brooklyn Nets 111-104 Charlotte Hornets
Miami Heat 112-103 Washington Wizards
Golden State Warriors 100-98 Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder 139-127 Minnesota Timberwolves (OT)
Boston Celtics 108-95 Denver Nuggets
Milwaukee Bucks 119-91 Los Angeles Clippers
San Antonio Spurs 105-104 Sacramento Kings (OT)
Los Angeles Lakers 136-113 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Cavaliers at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers (15-7) are 10-0 on home court and they will be looking to preserve that perfect record when the Cleveland Cavaliers roll into town on Saturday. After a shock loss to the Wizards in the American capital, the 76ers are seeking a response against the 5-16 Cavs.

It was the LeBron James and Anthony Davis show again as the Los Angeles Lakers outclassed the Utah Jazz 121-96 in the NBA.

James recorded a double-double of 20 points and 12 assists to power the Lakers past the slumping Jazz in Utah on Wednesday.

Davis top-scored with 26 points and six rebounds as the Lakers improved to 19-3 for the season.

Donovan Mitchell's 29 points and Bojan Bogdanovic's 23 were not enough for the Jazz (12-10), who crashed to a third consecutive loss.

The Milwaukee Bucks won their 13th straight game after seeing off the Detroit Pistons 127-103.

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 35 points for the Bucks, who are on their best winning streak since they won 16 in a row across 1972-73 and 1973-74.

 

Graham sizzles from distance

Devonte' Graham made 10 three-pointers and posted 33 points as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Golden State Warriors 106-91.

Jimmy Butler had a season-high 37 points, six rebounds and four assists in the Miami Heat's 112-93 loss to the Boston Celtics, who were led by Jaylen Brown's 31 points.

A season-high 32 points from Aaron Gordon guided the Orlando Magic to a 128-114 win over the Phoenix Suns.

 

Paul struggles in Thunder defeat

While Chris Paul dished out 10 assists, the nine-time All-Star scored just four points on two-of-nine shooting in 33 minutes of action. He also missed both of his three-point attempts.

It was a tough night for Pistons guard Bruce Brown, who finished the game scoreless after 21 minutes. The 23-year-old was 0-of-six from the floor and 0-of-two from beyond the arc.

 

Davis with the dunk!

After arriving from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade, Davis is lighting up Los Angeles and the rest of the country.

Wednesday's results

Charlotte Hornets 106-91 Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks 127-103 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 128-114 Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics 112-93 Miami Heat
Brooklyn Nets 130-118 Atlanta Hawks
Indiana Pacers 107-100 Oklahoma City Thunder
Chicago Bulls 106-99 Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks 121-114 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 121-96 Utah Jazz
Portland Trail Blazers 127-116 Sacramento Kings

 

Rockets at Raptors

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors welcome the Houston Rockets to Canada on Thursday. Toronto's perfect home record was snapped by the Heat on Tuesday, so the Raptors will be looking to bounce back against the Rockets, who succumbed to the San Antonio Spurs in double overtime last time out.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has no doubt the Milwaukee Bucks can stay locked in and on top form amid a historic start to the NBA season.

The Bucks extended their winning run to 12 games - their best such streak since 1981-82 - by thrashing the New York Knicks 132-88 at Fiserv Forum on Monday, improving to an NBA-leading record of 18-3, which matched the franchise's best start.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo contributed 29 points, 15 rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes on the floor as the Knicks suffered a seventh straight loss.

Asked how the Bucks can maintain their mental edge during the run, Antetokounmpo said: "We've got to do our job. It starts with the coaching staff, it starts with the leader. When I come here, I'm not thinking about the 12 games we've won, I'm thinking, 'How can I do my job? How can I win tonight?' That's the most important thing.

"What we've done for 12 games, I know we're playing great basketball and everybody's having fun, but that's in the past. We've got to keep getting better, keep improving as a team, because we're trying to translate everything we're doing right now to the end of the year. We've got to keep takings steps forward.

"Everybody shows up every day and they're hungry. Nobody is relaxed. We show up, we do our job, we smile, we're having fun and it's nice. Usually teams tend to relax, but we don't do that."

Antetokounmpo claimed his 20th double-double in 21 appearances this season and believes he has made significant strides as a creative force for Milwaukee.

"I'm just trying to find my team-mates. I get a load of double-teaming, so that was a little bit frustrating because my pass was not as accurate, usually they're more accurate. It was something that I knew I had to do more going through the season," he added.

"I learned from the playoffs last season that I have to playmake the whole game. Mentally I was prepared enough for this season to do it more, and I think by doing that [you] definitely take a step forward, you get better. I think I've got a lot better in that aspect in my game."

The Milwaukee Bucks were untroubled on their way to a 12th straight win in the NBA, while the Philadelphia 76ers also claimed a victory on Monday.

The Eastern Conference-leading Bucks crushed the struggling New York Knicks 132-88 to improve to 18-3.

Giannis Antetokounmpo only played 22 minutes, but still finished with a double-double of 29 points and 15 rebounds.

The Bucks' bench was again given a chance to impress and D.J. Wilson finished with 19 points, while George Hill contributed 14.

The 76ers stretched their own winning streak to four by overcoming the Utah Jazz 103-94.

Joel Embiid had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Tobias Harris finished with 26 points.

 

Young helps Hawks end losing run

Trae Young's 24 points and seven assists helped the Atlanta Hawks end a 10-game losing streak by beating the Golden State Warriors 104-79.

Domantas Sabonis' 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists saw the Indiana Pacers past the Memphis Grizzlies 117-104.

 

Woes for Barrett, Knox

The Knicks were thrashed by the Bucks and RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox II struggled. Barrett went 0-of-nine from the field and had two points in 20 minutes, while Knox was one-of-nine.

 

Heroic Horford

76ers forward Al Horford produced a huge defensive play to deny Bojan Bogdanovic.

Monday's results

Phoenix Suns 109-104 Charlotte Hornets
Philadelphia 76ers 103-94 Utah Jazz
Atlanta Hawks 104-79 Golden State Warriors
Indiana Pacers 117-104 Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks 132-88 New York Knicks
Chicago Bulls 113-106 Sacramento Kings

 

Lakers at Nuggets

The top two in the Western Conference do battle. The Lakers (17-3) will look to bounce back from their defeat to the Dallas Mavericks when they visit the Denver Nuggets (13-4) on Tuesday.

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