NBA

Giannis posts 41-point double-double as Bucks end Rockets streak, Durant powers Nets

By Sports Desk December 11, 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo flexed his muscles with 41 points and 17 rebounds as defending champions the Milwaukee Bucks took down the Houston Rockets 123-114 in the NBA.

The Bucks snapped Houston's seven-game winning streak behind a monster performance from Finals MVP Antetokounmpo on Friday.

Antetokounmpo also had five assists, three steals and two blocks as he became Milwaukee's all-time blocks leader, surpassing Alton Lister (804).

The Bucks have had five 40/15/5 games since the three-point era (1980) – Antetokounmpo has all five.

Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis had 21 points apiece for the Bucks, who improved to 17-10 this season.

Christian Wood (21 points and 13 rebounds) had a double-double, but it was not enough for the Rockets (8-17), while Garrison Matthews (23 points) and Armoni Brooks (21 points) also impressed.

Houston had been 6-0 with Matthews in the starting line-up but his bid to join Chris Paul (first 15) and Jason Terry (first nine) as the only players in the last 30 years to have the Rockets win their first seven starts with the team fell short.

 

Durant grounds Hawks, LeBron leads Lakers

Kevin Durant led the way again for the Brooklyn Nets, who outlasted the Atlanta Hawks 113-105. Durant scored 31 points. James Harden added 20 points and 11 assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Nets. Trae Young had 31 points and 10 assists for the Hawks. He joined Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan as the only players with at least 25 points and 10 assists in five consecutive games since the NBA merger in 1977.

With Anthony Davis (knee soreness) absent, LeBron James inspired the Los Angeles Lakers to a 116-95 victory over the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder. James was 13-of-20 shooting for 33 points. In 15 games this season, James has scored 30 or more points in seven of them.

 

Burks has game to forget

The New York Knicks opted for Alec Burks over star recruit Kemba Walker in their rotation, but he endured a horror outing in the 90-87 defeat at the Toronto Raptors. Burks missed all seven of his shots from the floor, finishing with just a point in 37 minutes.

The Boston Celtics went down 111-90 to the high-flying Phoenix Suns as Marcus Smart went one-of-13 from the floor – missing all five of his three-point attempts – in a four-point performance.

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    The Golden State Warriors played their "best stretch" of basketball this season in Saturday's 120-101 win over the Houston Rockets says head coach Steve Kerr, as the reigning champions ominously made it five wins from six games.

    The Warriors raced to a 39-23 quarter-time lead, inspired by Andrew Wiggins with a season-high 36 points and reigning NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry with 30.

    Golden State led 22-4 at one stage in the first quarter and did not commit a turnover until the second quarter, in an ominous sign from the reigning champions who improved to 12-11.

    "It was a phenomenal first 18 minutes," Kerr told reporters. "I thought that was maybe the best stretch we've had all year to start the game.

    "Then halfway through the second quarter, maybe eight minutes left in the second quarter we didn’t have any turnovers, we had like 16 assists, we were defending, rebounding, doing everything right and then we just lost our focus.

    "That's our biggest challenge right now is trying to maintain our focus long enough to not give up leads and allow teams back in and I thought that’s what happened tonight."

    Warriors shooting guard Thompson was rested for the game, the second of their back-to-back games, having won 119-111 over the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

    "The hope is that he will play back-to-backs later this year," Kerr said.

    "Today, he will go through really good court work to try and simulate as best we can what a back-to-back would feel like for him."

    Wiggins and Curry both scored eight three-pointers each as the Warriors tallied 25 for the game on 52.9 per cent shooting from beyond the arc.

    The Warriors became the second team behind the Utah Jazz in November-December 2021 to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

  • Lyon's six-wicket haul guides Australia to 1-0 series lead with final-day victory over West Indies Lyon's six-wicket haul guides Australia to 1-0 series lead with final-day victory over West Indies

    Nathan Lyon has bowled Australia to a 164-run victory over the West Indies with a fourth-innings six-wicket haul in the first Test in Perth on Sunday.

    The West Indies resumed at 192-3 chasing the improbable target of 498 and pushed Australia beyond drinks in the second session before Lyon claimed the final two wickets in successive balls.

    Australia skipper Pat Cummins was on the field throughout the final day but did not bowl, due to a quad injury which has him in doubt for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Cummins' absence from the attack heaped more pressure on Lyon who shouldered that burden.

    Lyon finished with 6-128 from 42.5 overs in the fourth innings, getting the key breakthrough of captain Kraigg Braithwaite, after having Kyle Mayers caught at first slip by Steve Smith in the first session. Braithwaite, who reached his century late on day four, was bowled by Lyon for 110.

    Jason Holder was brilliantly caught by Smith at first slip off Travis Head before Joshua De Silva edged to Usman Khawaja off Josh Hazlewood, with the tourists' resistance appearing set to wither at 233-7.

    But Alzarri Joseph and Roston Chase put together a stubborn 82-run eighth-wicket partnership which ensured Australia were made to work for their victory. 

    Head clean bowled Joseph, who belted three sixes in his 43, on the delivery after wicketkeeper Alex Carey dropped a tough chance, before Lyon dismissed Chase for 55 and Kemar Roach in successive balls.

    Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Match after his scores of 204 and 104* earlier in the contest.

    Lyon brings it home for Australia

    Australia's all-time most productive off-spinner Lyon finished the job for the hosts with four final-day wickets and six for the fourth innings, having taken two late on the fourth day.

    Lyon's five-wicket haul was the 21st of his Test career, but also his fifth in the fourth innings of a Test match, with only one of those coming before 2019.

    Positives for West Indies

    Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

    The West Indies bowling left a bit to be desired but their opening batsmen did well, with Braithwaite scoring 64 and 110, while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed with 51 and 45.

  • Lyon's six-wicket haul roars Australia into 1-0 lead with final-day victory over West Indies Lyon's six-wicket haul roars Australia into 1-0 lead with final-day victory over West Indies

    Nathan Lyon has bowled Australia to a 164-run victory over the West Indies with a fourth-innings six-wicket haul in the first Test in Perth on Sunday.

    The West Indies resumed at 192-3 chasing the improbable target of 498 and pushed Australia beyond drinks in the second session before Lyon claimed the final two wickets in successive balls.

    Australia skipper Pat Cummins was on the field throughout the final day but did not bowl, due to a quad injury which has him in doubt for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Cummins' absence from the attack heaped more pressure on Lyon who shouldered that burden.

    Lyon finished with 6-128 from 42.5 overs in the fourth innings, getting the key breakthrough of captain Kraigg Braithwaite, after having Kyle Mayers caught at first slip by Steve Smith in the first session. Braithwaite, who reached his century late on day four, was bowled by Lyon for 110.

    Jason Holder was brilliantly caught by Smith at first slip off Travis Head before Joshua De Silva edged to Usman Khawaja off Josh Hazlewood, with the tourists' resistance appearing set to wither at 233-7.

    But Alzarri Joseph and Roston Chase put together a stubborn 82-run eighth-wicket partnership which ensured Australia were made to work for their victory. 

    Head clean bowled Joseph, who belted three sixes in his 43, on the delivery after wicketkeeper Alex Carey dropped a tough chance, before Lyon dismissed Chase for 55 and Kemar Roach in successive balls.

    Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Match after his scores of 204 and 104* earlier in the contest.

    Lyon brings it home for Australia

    Australia's all-time most productive off-spinner Lyon finished the job for the hosts with four final-day wickets and six for the fourth innings, having taken two late on the fourth day.

    Lyon's five-wicket haul was the 21st of his Test career, but also his fifth in the fourth innings of a Test match, with only one of those coming before 2019.

    Positives for West Indies

    Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

    The West Indies bowling left a bit to be desired but their opening batsmen did well, with Braithwaite scoring 64 and 110, while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed with 51 and 45.

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