Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the West-leading Minnesota Timberwolves 112-107 on Friday in a matchup of NBA heavyweights.

Damian Lillard had 21 points, 10 assists and a season-high nine rebounds and Malik Beasley scored all 14 of his points in the third quarter as the Bucks improved to 4-10 under new coach Doc Rivers.

Anthony Edwards scored 28 points and hit three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to draw the Wolves within 110-107 with 31 seconds left, but Lillard’s long jumper 22 seconds later sealed the win.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points with 14 rebounds and Rudy Gobert added 12 points and 19 boards for Minnesota, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Butler among 4 ejected in Heat’s win

Jimmy Butler was one of four players ejected after a fourth-quarter scuffle and the Miami Heat held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 106-95.

Butler had 23 points and nine rebounds and Bam Adebayo added 24 points for Miami, which snapped New Orleans’ four-game winning streak and made it seven consecutive wins over the Pelicans.

Also ejected for the melee were Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and Jose Alvarado and Naji Marshall of the Pelicans.

Herb Jones scored 19 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 with 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which couldn’t overcome 37.5 percent shooting, including 7 of 32 from 3-point range.

Maxey leads 76ers over Cavaliers

Tyrese Maxey scored 24 points and Cam Payne added 16 off the bench to propel the Philadelphia 76ers to a 104-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Maxey came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of the Sixers’ final 20 points and assisted on a 3-pointer by Buddy Hield that put Philadelphia up by eight in the final minute.

Maxey was the only Sixer to make more than one basket in the fourth quarter and also added four rebounds and two assists.

Jarrett Allen had 24 points and Darius Garland added 20 and nine assists, but Cleveland had a six-game road winning streak stopped while losing for the third time in four games overall.

Damian Lillard was honoured to achieve a feat only previously accomplished by Michael Jordan on the NBA's All-Star weekend. 

Lillard saw off competition from the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns and the Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young to win the 3-point contest on Saturday, then he dazzled again one day later.

The Milwaukee Bucks guard was named All-Star Game MVP after putting up 39 points as the Eastern Conference All-Stars recorded a 211-186 win over their Western Conference counterparts. 

Chicago Bulls legend Jordan is the only previous player to complete such a double, having taken the 1988 dunk contest before winning the first of his three All-Star MVP trophies.

For Lillard, who was appearing in his eighth All-Star Game but his first as a starter, following in Jordan's footsteps made it all the more memorable. 

"Anytime you're mentioned in the same category as Mike, it's an honour, it's a major accomplishment, even if it's All-Star weekend," Lillard said during his post-game news conference. 

"Because if it was that simple, more people would have done it. I'm a vet in the game at this point. Why not go and try to get an MVP? I've been here enough."

However, a perceived lack of competitiveness in Sunday's All-Star Game – the highest-scoring in history – led to criticism from some quarters. 

The league's all-time leading scorer LeBron James said the All-Star Game "is something we need to figure out", with players unwilling to risk injury in the mid-season exhibition. 

Asked for his views on that debate, Lillard said: "I think it could be more competitive, 200 is a lot to be scored. It shows we didn't go out there and compete like I guess you would want us to. 

"But I think that's just what it is. Guys are talented, they make a lot of shots. We hit a lot of 3s, and that was it."

Lillard joined the Bucks in a blockbuster trader from the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the season, but his first campaign in Milwaukee has been a turbulent one. 

The Bucks fired coach Adrian Griffin last month, bringing in Doc Rivers after a short interim stint for Joe Prunty. They sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 35-21 record, but have lost five of their last seven games.

"It's been a tough year with the transition to a new team, we've had three coaches since I've been there," Lillard said.

"Anytime you have these types of experiences where you have adversity, that's the time you've got to show who you really are. 

"Keep doing what you do, keep believing, and when you do that, usually it comes back to you. You just can't fold."

Damian Lillard said it was about time the Milwaukee Bucks played like championship contenders after scoring 26 points on his comeback in Friday's win over the Charlotte Hornets.

An ankle injury caused Lillard to miss back-to-back defeats against the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves this week, but he returned with a bang against the short-handed Hornets.

Lillard's 26-point haul led five Milwaukee players in double figures as they condemned Charlotte to a 10th straight defeat, with the All-Star guard also adding four rebounds and eight assists.

Having halted a three-game losing streak, the Bucks sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 34-19 record, and Lillard says a few home truths from head coach Doc Rivers led to their improvement.

"We were just more physical," Lillard said after Friday's game. "Doc just challenged us. He checked us on what we say we want to do versus what we've been doing. 

"To be a team that is considered a contender with what we want to accomplish… we've got to start acting like it."

Giannis Antetokounmpo was only needed for 24 minutes but still recorded 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Bobby Portis added 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Bucks also handed a debut to veteran guard Patrick Beverley, who they acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.

He finished with six points and four assists in just 12 minutes on the court, also making a big impression with his willingness to call plays on the floor. 

"He brought energy, he brought edge and just experience," Lillard said of Beverley. "There were times where he just kind of directed some actions offensively and defensively in the huddle.

"He knows who he is, he knows what he brings to a team and he's not shy about it. You heard his voice the moment he walked in."

Beverley said of his approach: "The way I go about things, I'm not going to make everyone happy.

"I'm going to upset some people. I hold myself to a high standard and I expect everyone else to do the same.

"My approach is very strong until you get to know me. But once you get to know me you understand; 'the only thing he does is want to win.'"

Damian Lillard has opened the door for a future move to the Portland Trail Blazers after an emotional return to his former home with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 33-year-old was the face of the Blazers' franchise for his first 11 seasons in the NBA and was treated to a lengthy ovation before Wednesday's game.

A number of video tributes were played on the video screen for Lillard during timeouts at Moda Center, where the Bucks went on to lose 119-116 in a second straight loss under new coach Doc Rivers.

Lillard, who was traded to the Bucks in October as part of a three-way deal, was not shy in later letting the crowd know where his heart lies.

"I'm just in a space of like, this is where I am now," he said. "I'm in Milwaukee. I wanted the opportunity to contend, and our team has an opportunity to contend for this year and years to come, and I'm living in that. 

"But definitely, when I was traded, I see a day where I'll be in a Trail Blazer uniform again before I'm done.

"You just feel the appreciation and the love. It was like, 'man, this is a big deal'. Everybody in the building just showed me that type of love and acknowledgement from during my time here. So, I appreciated it.

"I'm not going to cry, nothing like that. I'm not a big crier, but I'm not going to hide the emotions that I feel from it. I think it's a moment that means a lot to me and a lot of other people."

Lillard had 25 points on 9-of-23 shooting – 3 of 13 from 3-point range – with seven assists, six rebounds and four turnovers.

Even before his standing ovation and various other tributes, the eight-time NBA All-Star – who averaged 32.2 points per game with the Blazers last season – talked of his love for Portland on the eve of the game.

"I loved the organization. I loved everybody I went to work with every day," he said. "And I think what made it the hardest is it wasn't a wasn't a broken relationship. 

"So coming back, being able to be here, I'm in a great situation. The reason it all came about in the first place was for a chance to win it all. We couldn't be at that place at the same time. So I come back with love, and I'm excited to be back."

Anfernee Simons ultimately spoiled Lillard's big return with a go-ahead floater with 17.1 seconds remaining, while Giannis Antetokounmpo registered 27 points and eight rebounds, as the Blazers made it back-to-back victories.

"It was a fun night, celebrating a great player, a great person," Simons said. "We came in here knowing we've got stuff we want to accomplish as well. We came in wanting to win the game."

The Bucks are now 32-16 for the season and are second in the Western Conference ahead of facing the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, while the 15-33 Blazers are 14th in the West and take on the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Anfernee Simons spoiled Damian Lillard’s return to Portland with a go-ahead floater with 17.1 seconds remaining to lift the Trail Blazers to a 119-116 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Lillard had 25 points on 9-of-23 shooting – 3 of 13 from 3-point range – with seven assists, six rebounds and four turnovers in his first game back in Portland since he was traded to Milwaukee in September.

He was the face of the Blazers’ franchise for his first 11 seasons in the NBA and was treated to a lengthy ovation before the game and tributes played on the video scoreboard during timeouts.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and eight rebounds and Khris Middleton added 21 and eight assists as the Bucks lost their second straight under new coach Doc Rivers.

Simons finished with 24 points and Deandre Ayton had 20 and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who won their second straight to close a three-game homestand.

 

Durant leads Suns past Nets in return

Kevin Durant poured in 33 points in his return to Brooklyn and Jusuf Nurkic had 28 with 11 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 136-120 win over the Nets.

Durant shot 10 of 16 from the field and added eight assists in his first game in Brooklyn since being traded to Phoenix nearly a year ago.

Devin Booker scored 22 points and Eric Gordon added 17 for the Suns, who won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Cam Thomas scored 25 points and Mikal Bridges, who came to Brooklyn in the Durant trade, had 21 as the Nets failed to win three straight for the first time since early December.

 

Mitchell’s big night keeps Cavaliers hot

Donovan Mitchell scored 20 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter and Darius Garland had 19 in his return from a broken jaw as the Cleveland Cavaliers held off the lowly Detroit Pistons, 128-121.

Jarrett Allen had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his franchise-record 16th straight double-double to help the Cavaliers win for the 11th time in 12 games and improve to an NBA-best 16-4 since Dec. 16.

Danilo Galliari scored 20 points and Cade Cunningham added 19 and seven assists for Detroit, which was seeking consecutive wins for the first time since Oct. 27-28.

Garland was 7 of 12 from the field in 20 ½ minutes in his first action after missing 19 games. He sustained the injury in a collision with Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis on Dec. 14.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard expressed their surprise at the firing of Bucks coach Adrian Griffin after Milwaukee won its first game since the decision.

There was a third triple-double in four games for Giannis as Milwaukee ended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ eight-game winning streak on Wednesday with a 126-116 home victory.

Antetokounmpo had 35 points, a season high-tying 18 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double this season. He came up one assist shy of having four consecutive triple-doubles after he had 31 points, 10 boards and nine assists in Saturday’s win at Detroit.

Joe Prunty served as Milwaukee’s interim head coach after Griffin was fired on Tuesday despite the Bucks leading the Central Division with a 30-13 record, putting them second in the Eastern Conference. The team was finalising negotiations with Doc Rivers to take over.

Lillard added 28 points and Khris Middleton had 24 for the Bucks, winners of six in seven, as Cleveland lost despite Donovan Mitchell scoring 23 points and Jarrett Allen having 21 and 12 assists.

Two-time MVP Giannis was not expecting the decision to fire first-year coach Griffin, but stressed he trusted the front office.

"Their job is to create the best team possible and the best atmosphere around the team possible that they believe gives us a better chance to win a championship," Giannis said to ESPN. 

"But yeah, I do think [firing coach Griffin] was a surprise.

"I've got to trust the front office, I've got to trust the ownership group that they consider the bigger picture. My job is to be the best version of myself, to lead this team out there and help win games."

Giannis had expressed concerns over the Bucks’ performances this season but stressed he had no personal issues with Griffin.

"I loved the guy, I invited him to my wedding," Antetokounmpo said. ""I was coached by him and we did very, very, very well.

"When somebody is being hired, the GM might come and ask, 'What do you think about that? What do you think about this?' or whatever and not just me – players and people that he trusts their advice. 

"But at times they make it seem like it's the players that are making the decision.

"For a coach like Griff, from Day 1, everything was about togetherness. He was always leading this group into the direction we set at the beginning of the year. 

"Him not being here, at the end of the day, we’re humans. It hurts everybody. But we’ve got to keep on moving forward. We have a goal in our head, which is to be the best basketball team that we can be."

Lillard had a similar view to Giannis that the news was unexpected, though has agreed the Bucks could be playing better.

"There's been a lot of expectations on our team," he said. "Things have been expected to look a certain way. We've had a bumpy road to our success, which is sometimes a part of the process. 

"I was surprised. But it's part of the game. People get traded, people get waived, people get fired, and that's never something you want to see."

The Bucks never trailed in a win which avenged their 40-point loss in Cleveland last week and the teams will play again on Friday.

"Our experience really worked in our favor in this situation,” added Lillard. "We have all experienced a lot of things.

"I think this was different for everybody, but we just understood we had a game tonight, and it was going to be a tough game against a really good team that kind of handled us the last time we played them."

Damian Lillard said he had rediscovered his rhythm after his season-high 45 points helped the Milwaukee Bucks past the struggling Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

Lillard became the first player in Milwaukee history to finish a game with at least 40 points, 10 assists and five three-pointers as they opened their double-header in Detroit with a 141-135 success.

The guard's dominant performance came after he went seven of 20 shooting in a blowout defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, and coach Adrian Griffin was delighted with his response. 

"Dame was so great tonight, and he was competing on both sides of the ball," Griffin said after Saturday's win.

"I had no idea he had 45, but he's a rhythm player and he definitely got into a rhythm out there. He made big shots, and that's why he's on this team."

Lillard echoed his coach's sentiments, saying: "I knew it was an important game. I picked my spots. I moved the ball when I needed to move it. I attacked when I needed to attack.

"I've been slowly getting back to how I play more naturally and tonight was one of those nights."

Milwaukee were boosted by the return of two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who added 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists after missing the Cleveland game with a shoulder issue.

Antetokounmpo had chances to boost that tally, missing with 11 of 22 free-throw attempts, but Griffin was pleased with his overall contribution. 

"Giannis was big on both ends," Griffin said. "He got us some stops at the start of the second half and he was aggressive with the ball and getting to the rim. 

"When he draws fouls, he gets us to the bonus faster than a lot of teams, and that's invaluable."

The Bucks are now up to 29-13 after winning four of their last five games, ahead of another meeting with the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on Monday. 

Jayson Tatum poured in 38 points with a season-high eight 3-pointers and Jaylen Brown added 31 points to help the Boston Celtics snap the Indiana Pacers’ six-game winning streak, 118-101 on Saturday.

Tatum, who also had 13 rebounds and six assists, combined with Brown for 27 of Boston’s 46 baskets on a night they never trailed.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points and Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds and five steals. Indiana was held to a season-low point total and lost the rebounding battle, 70-42.

The Pacers were within 84-81 entering the fourth quarter, but the Celtics went up 100-85 on Tatum’s 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis played only six minutes due to an eye laceration.

Rockets survive Antetokounmpo’s 48 points

Alperen Sengun had 21 points and the Houston Rockets overcame 48 points and 17 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-108.

Antetokounmpo shot 16 of 25 from the field for his seventh straight double-double but teammate Damian Lillard shot 5 of 16, including 1 for 8 from long range, and missed a season-high three free throws on 10 attempts.

Jalen Green scored 16 points and Fred VanVleet added 14 with seven assists for Houston, which has won three of four following a three-game skid.  

Randle leads Knicks over Wizards

Julius Randle scored 39 points and Jalen Brunson had 33 as the New York Knicks won their fourth straight game, 121-105 over the Washington Wizards.

Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed 19 rebounds as New York showed no letup following an impressive 128-92 rout of the 76ers a night earlier.

Kyle Kuzma had 27 points and Deni Avdija added 23 for Washington, which has lost four in a row and seven of eight.

The Golden State Warriors were on the verge of beating the Denver Nuggets for the first time in nearly two years.

Nikola Jokic had other ideas.

Jokic hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Nuggets to a 130-127 win over the Warriors on Thursday to cap an 18-point, fourth-quarter comeback.

Jokic's improbable 3 came from just inside of half-court and over the outstretched arms of Warriors centre Kevon Looney.

Jokic, who had just tied the game with 26 seconds left on a short jumper, finished with 34 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Aaron Gordon sparked Denver's furious rally, scoring 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, as the defending champions won for the eighth time in nine games.

The Nuggets (25-11) also extended their winning streak over the Warriors to six games dating to a loss in the 2022 play-offs.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 30 points but also committed a costly turnover late, with Jamal Murray stealing the ball from him with four seconds remaining to set up Jokic's winner.

The Warriors (16-18) lost for the third time in four games following a five-game winning streak.

Antetokounmpo powers Bucks past Wembanyama, Spurs

Victor Wembanyama sent the San Antonio Spurs fans into a frenzy with a huge 3-pointer.

Giannis Antetokounmpo promptly silenced the crowd with a 3-point play of his own.

Antetokounmpo scored 44 points and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a 125-121 win at San Antonio to snap a two-game losing streak.

The first NBA meeting between Antetokounmpo and Wembanyama was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more five points in the final quarter.

Wembanyama tied the game at 121 on a 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining, but the Bucks responded on their next trip down the court, as Antetokounmpo put Milwaukee ahead on a driving dunk and added a free throw after being fouled.

Antetokounmpo also had 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks (25-10), who got back in the win column after being swept in a home-and-home series with the Indiana Pacers.

Damian Lillard scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and chipped in 10 assists.

Wembanyama blocked Lillard's layup attempt right before his 3-pointer, and later blocked an attempted dunk by Antetokounmpo with less than 30 seconds remaining. But on the Spurs' next possession, Tre Jones missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

Wembanyama finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots, while Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 34 points.

The Spurs (5-29) lost their fourth in a row and for the ninth time in the last 10 games.

Tyrese Haliburton tallied 31 points and 12 assists and the Indiana Pacers erupted for 47 points in the third quarter to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 142-130 for their fifth straight win on Wednesday.

Bennedict Mathurin added 16 points and Obi Toppin and Bruce Brown each added 15 as Indiana beat Central-leading Milwaukee for the second time in three days and improved to 4-1 in the season series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, while Damian Lillard had 23 points with five assists. Milwaukee has lost two straight for the first time since Nov. 9 and 11.

The Pacers entered the third quarter trailing 68-66 but went on a 21-6 run – capped by Haliburton’s 3-pointer – and opened a 113-97 lead after the period.

The Bucks couldn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Surging Clippers cool Suns

Paul George scored 33 points and Kawhi Leonard added 30 as the Los Angeles Clippers won their fourth straight game, 131-122 over the Phoenix Suns.

James Harden had 22 points and 11 assists to help the Clippers improve to 13-2 in their last 15 games.

Devin Booker scored 35 points on 11-of-15 shooting and Bradley Beal added 21 but just 7 of 20 and missed all six of his 3-point attempts.

Kevin Durant missed his second straight game due to soreness in his right hamstring and the Suns had a four-game winning streak stopped.

Kings outlast Magic in double overtime

Malik Monk and Keegan Murray hit 3-pointers in the second overtime and the Sacramento Kings overcame a franchise-record 25 3-pointers by the Orlando Magic in a 138-135 win.

Monk finished with season highs of 37 points and seven 3-pointers and Murray had 31 points on 14-of-22 shooting with 11 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis notched his seventh triple-double of the season with 22 points, 23 rebounds and 12 assists.

Paolo Banchero scored a career-high 43 points with six 3-pointers to lead Orlando but missed a potential tying 3 at the final buzzer.

Jalen Suggs added 24 points, including six 3s, for the Magic.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 of his 40 points in the second half to help the surging Oklahoma City Thunder pull away for an impressive 119-93 road win over the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished 14 of 20 from the field and a perfect 10 for 10 from the free-throw line to lead the upstart Thunder to their sixth win in seven games.

Oklahoma City, which last reached the playoffs in the 2019-20 season, is now 21-9 and percentage points ahead of Denver for second place in the Northwest Division.

Chet Holmgren added 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting for the Thunder, who outscored Denver by a 34-20 margin in the third quarter to turn a six-point half-time lead into a commanding 88-68 advantage.

The Nuggets had a six-game winning streak halted despite another efficient outing from Nikola Jokić, who made 9 of 10 field goal attempts while compiling 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. 

Jokic's primary teammates were off the mark, however. Jamal Murray missed 11 of 15 field goal attempts while being held to nine points, while Michael Porter Jr. was 4 of 12 and ended with 12 points.

Antetokounmpo, Lillard rally Bucks past Cavaliers

The Milwaukee Bucks got 34 points and 16 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo and a big second half from Damian Lillard to rally for a 119-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in a clash of the Central Division's top teams.

Lillard scored 24 of his 31 points after half-time to help Milwaukee overcome an early 15-point deficit and post its ninth win in 10 games. The Bucks extended their lead on second-place Cleveland to six games in the division.

The Cavaliers had won five of six coming in and got top scorer Donovan Mitchell back from a four-game absence, with the four-time All-Star registering 34 points and nine assists in his return. Cleveland also got a big effort from Jarrett Allen in defeat, as the centre amassed a career-high 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists while finishing 15 of 17 from the field.

Cleveland owned a 50-35 lead midway through the second quarter before the Bucks closed the gap to 59-52 at the break. Milwaukee then opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run, then later put together an 11-0 spurt to claim an 88-73 advantage with under three minutes remaining in the period.

Both Antetokounmpo and Lillard had 14 points in the pivotal third quarter.

The Cavs were able to cut Milwaukee's lead to 115-111 inside the final minute, but didn't make a shot the rest of the way and the Bucks sealed the game with four late free throws.

Milwaukee finished 25 of 28 from the foul line, while Cleveland attempted just nine free throws on the night.

 

Wagner, Banchero lead Magic over Knicks

Franz Wagner had 32 points and Paolo Banchero added 29 as the Orlando Magic got back on track with a 117-108 victory over the New York Knicks.

Orlando bounced back from Wednesday's 20-point home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers behind strong performances from its two young stars. Wagner finished 11 of 19 from the field to go along with nine rebounds, while Banchero had 10 boards and scored 15 points in the second half.

Jalen Suggs contributed 21 points for the Magic, who never trailed after stringing together a 14-1 run in the second quarter that turned a 33-33 tie into a comfortable 47-34 lead.

The Knicks battled back behind Julius Randle, who finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, but could only get their deficit down to five points in the game's late stages.

Wagner helped Orlando hold on by recording 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.

Jalen Brunson had 20 points for New York, which has now lost two straight, but was held to 4-of-15 shooting from the field.

 

 

The Detroit Pistons suffered their 25th straight loss – one short of the NBA single season record – as Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points to lead the short-handed Utah Jazz to a 119-111 victory on Thursday.

Detroit missed nine of 10 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and was 9 of 31 overall from long range as it remained winless since Oct. 28.

The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers share the record at 26, which the Pistons will try to avoid Saturday in Brooklyn. The 76ers hold the overall mark of 28, a skid that started in 2014-15 and carried over into 2015-16.

Collin Sexton scored 19 points and Ochai Agbaji added 18 for the Jazz, who played without four of their top seven scorers – Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Keyonte George and Talen Horton-Tucker – on the second night of a back-to-back after losing at Cleveland on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo propels Bucks to 6th straight win

Giannis Antetokoumpo tallied 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks completed a perfect six-game homestand with a 118-114 win over the Orlando Magic.

Damian Lillard added 24 points and eight assists for the Bucks, who have won 15 straight games at Fiserv Forum. That’s the Bucks’ longest single-season home win streak since they opened 18-0 at home in 1991-92.

Franz Wagner scored 29 points and Paolo Banchero had 23 for the Magic, who have lost four in a row.

Thunder snap Clippers’ 9-game streak

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in 31 points and Chet Holmgren gave the Thunder the lead for good with a dunk he threw off the backboard to himself, and Oklahoma City ended the Los Angeles Clippers’ nine-game winning streak, 134-115.

Holmgren’s flashy jam with 8:43 left in the third quarter gave the Thunder a 74-73 lead and sparked a decisive 13-0 run.

Holmgren finished with 23 points and Lu Dort added 21 for Oklahoma City, which has won three straight and five of six.

James Harden scored 23 points and Paul George had 22 for the Clippers, who played without leading scorer Kawhi Leonard due to a bruised right hip.

Damian Lillard recognised the importance of his accomplishment after reaching 20,000 NBA points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 132-119 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Seven-time All-Star Lillard is the eighth active player to reach the milestone, having followed LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Chris Paul in achieving the feat.

There have been 51 players in NBA history who have reached 20,000, with Lillard doing so in his 794th game, making him the 17th fastest to do it, on a night in which he scored a season-high 40 points.

Lillard increased his career point total to 20,034 on Tuesday, while there was also a triple-double for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo had a career-high 16 assists, 14 rebounds and a season-low 11 points for his second triple-double this season, giving the Bucks a fifth straight win and a 14th consecutive triumph at Fiserv Forum.

"I don't want to fake downplay it like it's nothing," Lillard said after the game about hitting 20,000. 

"I know it's a big deal. It's a great accomplishment. It's a rare space to be in.

"I look at what led up to it. All of the things that I think of in high school, in college and the doubt that I faced over the course of my career, before the NBA – what I wasn't supposed to be, what I wasn't supposed to accomplish, and just my mentality through all those things. 

"Sometimes you don't really see the light at the end of the tunnel. You've just got to have that faith in yourself."

Lillard drained seven 3-pointers in a fantastic performance that saw the Bucks improve to 20-7 for the season, second only to the Boston Celtics (20-6) in the Eastern Conference.

"When you look at Dame, obviously he can shoot the ball," added Bucks coach Adrian Griffin.

"He can stretch the floor. He just puts a lot of pressure on your defense. 

"If you bring your bigs up, he can drive around them. He's strong enough and physical enough to finish at the rim. He just has no weaknesses on the offensive end."

The Spurs played without star rookie Victor Wembanyama (ankle) and lost for the 20th time in 21 games.

"I don't think we are expecting it to be long-term or anything," coach Gregg Popovich said about the injury.

Milwaukee is 5-0 on its season-long, six-game homestand that concludes Thursday against Orlando. San Antonio returns to action in Chicago on the same day.

Ja Morant scored 34 points in his season debut, including a spinning dribble in the lane to set up a game-winning floater as time expired, to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to a 115-113 victory Tuesday over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Morant didn’t look rusty in his return, shooting 12 of 24 from the field with eight assists and six rebounds to help Memphis snap a five-game losing streak.

His point total was the most in NBA history by a player coming back from an absence of at least 25 games.

The Grizzlies went 6-19 during Morant’s suspension for his social media antics with guns.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 24 points and Desmond Bane added 21 for Memphis.

Brandon Ingram poured in 34 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 22 and 4 rebounds for the Pelicans, who had a four-game winning streak stopped.

Zion Williamson was limited by foul trouble and was limited to 13 points.

Lillard has 40 to power Bucks past Spurs

Damian Lillard scored a season-high 40 points to reach 20,000 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their fifth straight win, 132-119 over the San Antonio Spurs.

Lillard increased his career point total to 20,034 to become the 51st player in NBA history – and eighth active player – to accumulate 20,000 points. He is the 17th-fastest player to reach that milestone.

Antetokounmpo had a career-high 16 assists, 14 rebounds and a season-low 11 points for his second triple-double this season and 37th of his career.

Milwaukee is 5-0 on its season-long, six-game homestand that concludes Thursday against Orlando. The Bucks have won 14 straight games at Fiserv Forum for their longest home winning streak since a 20-game run from April 19, 1990-Jan. 8, 1991.

The Spurs played without rookie Victor Wembanyama (sore right ankle) and lost for the 20th time in 21 games.

Warriors outlast Celtics in overtime

Stephen Curry scored 33 points, including seven straight in overtime, and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Celtics, 132-126 to end Boston’s five-game winning streak.

Klay Thompson had 24 points, Jonathan Kuminga added 17 and Trayce Jackson-Davis contributed 10 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as the Warriors won their third in a row.

Derrick White scored 30 points and Jaylen Brown had 26 points, eight boards and six assists for Boston, which dropped its third straight road game.

Al Horford’s 3-pointer with 36 seconds left in overtime drew the Celtics within 127-126, but Curry drilled a 3 with the shot clock winding down with 12 seconds to play and added a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in a franchise-record 64 points on Wednesday in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 140-126 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Antetokounmpo surpassed the team record of 57 points set by Michael Redd in 2006 in a loss to the Utah Jazz. The previous career high for the Milwaukee superstar was 55 points in a victory over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 3.

He was 20 of 28 from the field in this one, 24 of 32 on free throws and had 14 rebounds.

Damian Lillard added 21 points and Bobby Portis had 13 for the Bucks, who lost to the Pacers in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament on Thursday.

Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner each scored 22 points for Indiana, which had won four in a row, excluding a loss to the Lakers in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo was tackled by Aaron Nesmith on a play underneath with 10:10 left, setting off a brief exchange involving several players. Nesmith was called for a flagrant-1, and Nesmith and Portis were assessed technical fouls.

Embiid, 76ers deal Pistons 21st straight loss

Joel Embiid scored 30 of his 41 points in the first half as the Philadelphia 76ers sent the Detroit Pistons to their 21st straight loss, 129-11 on Wednesday to open a home-and-home series.

The Pistons, who haven’t won since Oct. 28, matched the longest losing streak in franchise history, set at the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of 1980-81. It is the sixth-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.

Only the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013-14 76ers (26 in a row), along with the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies, the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and the 2010-11 Charlotte Bobcats (23 straight) have lost more consecutive games in a season.

Philadelphia holds the overall mark of 28, set at the end of 2014-15 and start of 2015-16.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with a season-high 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting.

Former Piston Tobias Harris had 21 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 for the 76ers, winners of four straight.

Davis, Lakers hold off Wembanyama, Spurs

Anthony Davis scored 37 points and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame Victor Wembanyama’s big night in a 122-119 victory, extending the Spurs’ franchise-record losing streak to 18.

Davis rolled his left ankle in the opening seconds but refused to exit and went on to shoot 10 for 15 from the field and score 24 points in the first half.

Taurean Prince had 17 points and Austin Reaves added 15 to help the Lakers win for the fifth time in six games despite missing LeBron James, who sat out the first of two straight games in San Antonio because of a left calf injury.

Wembanyama had 30 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, but the Spurs have remained winless since Nov. 2. He became the first rookie with 30 points, 10 boards and six blocks in a game since Spurs superstar Tim Duncan in 1998.

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