The Milwaukee Bucks will not always hit the height of their potential, but Damian Lillard suggested Tuesday's big win over the New York Knicks can be a sign of what is to come.

The Bucks ran out 146-122 winners over the Knicks in their NBA in-season tournament quarter-final.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 10 rebounds, while Lillard contributed 28 points, as the Bucks, who are second in the Eastern Conference, teed up a semi-final against the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas.

Lillard warned it was too much to expect the Bucks to perform like that in every game, but he said the team have laid down a marker.

"I thought this was probably our best offensive game," said Lillard.

"That doesn't mean we're going to turn into a team that does that every night, but I do think we have that type of explosiveness.

"We can't depend on having these types of nights every time, but it's definitely a look at the kind of nights we can have offensively.

"It's been some bumps in that process where we don't play so great some nights but we're still able to win those games.

"I think now is just starting to get a little smoother, knowing where we should be on the floor, knowing how to give each other outlets, knowing how to help each other be who we are.

"It's not perfect, but I just like that we're showing improvement and it's carrying over and you can see it on the floor."

Lillard added that winning the in-season tournament would be a statement of intent.

"You come out of this thing on top, the last team standing, I think it's a pretty strong statement," he said. "It's something that everybody around the league has to respect."

"Tonight was a huge step. We wanted to get to Vegas," Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said.

"But when we get to Vegas, we've got to take care of business. We still got two games to win there."

The Los Angeles Lakers secured a spot in the In-Season Tournament semifinals on Tuesday with a 106-103 win over the Phoenix Suns, as LeBron James scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter.

James had 15 of the Lakers’ first 19 points in the final quarter and got the assists on his teammates’ other two baskets as Los Angeles pulled ahead.

Anthony Davis tallied 27 points and 15 rebounds and Austin Reaves added 20 points, including a key 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to extend the Lakers’ lead to 105-101.

Los Angeles advances to face New Orleans on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Kevin Durant scored 31 points for the Suns but came up short on a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Bucks handle Knicks to reach semifinals

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 10 assists to help the Milwaukee Bucks book a spot in the semifinals of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament with a 146-122 victory over the New York Knicks.

Damian Lillard added 28 points and Malik Beasley had 18 for the Bucks, who improved to 5-0 in tournament play with their ninth consecutive home win.

They set a season high in scoring, shooting 60.5 percent (23 of 38) from 3-point range and 60.4 percent overall to set up a matchup with Indiana in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Julius Randle scored a season-high 41 points on 14-of-19 shooting, and Jalen Brunson had 24 points, but the Knicks had a three-game win streak stopped.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said playing with Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton was "like heaven" after the trio combined to guide the Milwaukee Bucks to the quarterfinals of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

The Bucks moved to 13-5 for the season and 4-0 in East Group B for the In-Season Tournament with Tuesday's 131-124 win over the Miami Heat at Kaseya Center.

Milwaukee found themselves down 118-115 with three minutes and 25 seconds to play, but they finished on a 16-6 run to tee up a home game in the last eight, with Antetokounmpo leading the way with 33 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

The two-time MVP was ably supported by Lillard, who posted 32 points and nine assists, and Middleton, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. 

After the game, Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin revealed Antetokounmpo had suggested feeding the ball to Middleton more often, and the star forward said doing so made Milwaukee less predictable.

"It's great, for me it's like heaven when you have two guys that can create their own shots, and I don't have to make something happen," Antetokounmpo said.

"It's great. My whole career it's been that way, and now also we have Khris and Dame that can do that. It makes the game easier for everybody. 

"Them breaking down the defenses is great, but if they can't, they can give the ball to me and I'll spread it to the corners or play one-on-one.

"Offensively, I think guys got to the spots and were able to execute, a few pick and rolls with Dame as the ball handler, a few pick and rolls with Khris as the ball handler… it was great. 

"I think it helps the flow of our offense when it doesn't always have to be Dame and Giannis, then we can play from there.

"I feel like that's where we are, all playing as a team, the energy is better, everybody has more touches of the ball, I think we can be more effective that way."

The Heat were made to pay for the absence of Jimmy Butler, who missed the game with an ankle sprain after averaging 37.6 points as Miami eliminated Milwaukee from the playoffs last season.

Bam Adebayo scored 31 points for Miami, with Kyle Lowry adding 21 and Josh Richardson contributing 20, and head coach Erik Spoelstra was broadly pleased with their display, despite the result.

"I felt like we played a very good basketball game," Spoelstra said. "A very good offensive game, in particular."

Now 10-8 for the campaign and eliminated from the In-Season Tournament, Miami will look to halt their three-game losing streak when they face the Indiana Pacers in a home double-header later this week. 

The Milwaukee Bucks got big performances from their two brightest stars in a 131-124 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday to clinch a quarterfinal spot in the In-Season Tournament.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and Damian Lillard added 32 to help the Bucks win East Group B with a 4-0 record.

Milwaukee will host wild-card New York on either Dec. 4 or 5, with East Group C winner Boston going to Group A winner Indiana for the other quarterfinal before the Final Four in Las Vegas.

Miami, which was without second-leading scorer Jimmy Butler, dropped its second straight following a 9-1 stretch.

Bam Adebayo scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry had 21, including a 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining to put the Heat up 118-115.

The Bucks, though, finished on a 16-6 run, going 5 for 6 from the field and 5 for 5 from the line. Lillard made two free throws with 63 seconds to play to help put it out of reach.

Milwaukee lost forward Pat Connaughton to a sprained right ankle in the second quarter.

Kings rally past Warriors to advance

Malik Monk sank a fadeaway with 7 seconds remaining and the Sacramento Kings rallied from 11 down in the fourth quarter for a 124-123 win over the Golden State Warriors.

De’Aaron Fox scored 29 points and Monk and Kevin Huerter each added 21 for the Kings, who won their group with a 4-0 record and will host New Orleans next week in the quarterfinals.

Sacramento needed a win or a loss by 11 points or fewer to advance but erased a 21-point deficit to win for the seventh time in nine games.

Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors with 29 points apiece, but Golden State dropped to 2-8 in its last 10 games.

Timberwolves star Edwards injured in win

Rudy Gobert had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks as the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame an injury to star guard Anthony Edwards in a 106-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the In-Season Tournament.

Edwards had 12 of his 21 points in the third quarter before landing hard on his right side during a dunk attempt and leaving with a bruised right hip.

Coach Chris Finch had no more details on the injury or whether Edwards would miss time.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting but his 37-foot try at the buzzer, his only 3-point attempt of the night, was well off the mark.

Reserve Troy Brown Jr. scored 17 points and Naz Reid added 15 for Minnesota, which improved the West’s best record to 12-4.

Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted the Milwaukee Bucks made life tough for themselves as he helped to seal a stirring 108-102 comeback victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Bucks rallied from a 26-point deficit to win the first meeting between the teams since the Blazers traded franchise icon Damian Lillard to Milwaukee in September. 

It was largest comeback in the NBA so far this season.

Lillard, who spent his first 11 seasons with Portland and is the Trail Blazers' all-time scoring leader, had 17 of his 31 points in the second half to aid the comeback, while Giannis came through with a tie-breaking basket with time winding down.

Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points, 16 rebounds and six assists in the Bucks' seventh win in eight games, which improved them to 12-5 on the season.

The rebuilding Blazers led 81-55 three minutes into the third quarter, but Milwaukee responded with a 17-2 run and continued to cut into the deficit until Lillard's 3-pointer with 2:53 remaining created a 97-97 tie.

Sunday's game remained deadlocked until Antetokounmpo tipped in teammate Bobby Portis' putback attempt to put the Bucks up by a 104-102 score. Lillard then sealed the win by making four free throws in the closing seconds.

"Sometimes we just make it tough on ourselves," Antetokounmpo said after the game, per ESPN.

"Don't get me wrong, I think Portland is a very good team – young team, play hard, but we just make it tough.

"We can't start the game like that. We should not be down 26 and then try to come and win the game. That takes a toll on your body. 

"But at the end of the day, I'm happy we were able to win."

Lillard and Antetokounmpo have scored 30 points each in the last two Bucks games.

"As the season moves forward, we're going to figure out ways to play with one another," added Giannis. 

"Be more effective, be more efficient with one another, know one another's spots. We are getting to that point. We are really getting to that point.

"At the end of the day, Dame has to be Dame. I have to be me. 

"As the games go on, we're going to keep on figuring ourselves out. The moment we are clicking on a higher level, it's going to become even more scary as we move forward."

Facing former team Portland (4-12) was an unusual experience for Lillard.

"Once I walked in, I saw a lot of familiar faces, I thought about going in the visitors' locker room for a second, but I was like, man, this a little bit different," he said to Bally Sports Wisconsin.

"When we got on the court, I saw everybody and it's a weird feeling. But once we started playing, I got over it quick."

Bucks coach Adrian Griffin was thrilled with Antetokounmpo, with a big Tuesday night In-Season Tournament game at the Miami Heat up next.

"He is one of the greatest players to play this game, and he showed it," said Griffin.

"We were kind of dead in the water, searching, trying to find some momentum, and it was a gritty win."

Jerami Grant had 22 points in Portland's ninth loss in 10 games, while Malcolm Brogdon recorded 18 points and 12 assists. 

Jaylen Brown had 26 points and eight assists as the Boston Celtics cooled off Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks with a 119-116 victory on Wednesday in a clash between two of the Eastern Conference's top teams.

Jayson Tatum added 23 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 21 as Boston bounced back from Monday's overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets that snapped its six-game winning streak.

The Celtics also ended Milwaukee's run of five straight wins while preventing Antetokounmpo from reaching the 40-point mark for a third consecutive game.

Boston held Antetokounmpo to 21 points on 7-of-20 shooting two nights after the two-time NBA MVP went 20-of-23 from the field in a 42-point performance Monday against the Washington Wizards.

The Celtics never trailed in improving to 6-0 at home this season, as they opened the game with a 10-0 run and built a 29-17 lead after one quarter before extending the margin to 67-53 at halftime.

Milwaukee got a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit down to four in the final minute, but the Celtics hit 5 of 6 free throws late to seal the win.

Brook Lopez led the Bucks with 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while Damian Lillard finished with 27 points and five assists. 

 

Streaking Magic survive Jokic’s triple-double

The Orlando Magic won their fifth straight game, as Franz Wagner scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half in a 124-119 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

 Paolo Banchero had 23 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:49 left to put Orlando ahead for good.

Goga Bitadze, Jalen Suggs and Wagner clinched the win with six straight free throws in the final 14 seconds.

Jokic had 30 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for his sixth triple-double of the season and 111th of his career, the fourth-most in NBA history.

 

Gilgeous-Alexander leads red-hot Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 points and 12 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to their sixth consecutive win, 116-102 over the Chicago Bulls.

Chet Holmgren tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks and Isaiah Joe added 20 points for the Thunder, who are on their longest winning streak since the 2018-19 season.

DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points for the Bulls after making just one basket in the first half.

Chicago played without leading scorer Zach LaVine, who sat with a sore right foot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 40 points and Damian Lillard added 27 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 132-125 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday in a marquee matchup featuring superstars.

Antetokounmpo shot 18 of 26 from the field and grabbed 14 rebounds to go with seven assists, as he bounced back from scoring 16 points Friday at Charlotte.

Pat Connaughton scored 16 points, including a 3-pointer with 67 seconds left to extend the Bucks’ lead to 130-125.

Kyrie Irving scored 39 points and Luka Dončić had 35 with nine boards and nine assists. The duo combined to shoot 31 for 54 from the floor.

 Gilgeous-Alexander scores 40 in Thunder’s OT win

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 points and Chet Holmgren has his best game as a pro with 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder handed the Golden State Warriors their sixth straight loss, 130-123 in overtime.

Andrew Wiggins sank a 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to put Golden State up 117-114, but Holmgren’s 3 with one second remaining forced overtime.

The Thunder outscored the Warriors 13-6 in the extra period, with Gilgeous-Alexander scoring eight straight points.

Wiggins finished with 31 points and Stephen Curry had 25 in his return from a right knee injury, but Golden State dropped to 1-6 on its home court.

 

Bulls rally to end Heat’s winning streak

DeMar DeRozan hit a key basket late and the Chicago Bulls overcame a 21-point deficit for a 102-97 victory, ending the Miami Heat’s seven-game winning streak.

Chicago fell behind by double digits for the third straight game and trailed 22-1 midway through the first quarter but managed to rally to end a three-game skid.

DeRozan scored 23 points and his 18-foot fadeaway with 22 seconds left put the Bulls ahead for good.

Jimmy Butler had 25 points for Miami, which didn’t trail until the game’s final minute. He missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final seconds.

Jayson Tatum scored 17 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics pulled away from the New York Knicks and earn a 114-98 win on Monday in a matchup of Atlantic Division rivals.

The Celtics outscored New York by a 62-45 margin in the second half en route to their third straight win, though the outcome was in doubt until Boston put together a pivotal run late in the third quarter.

Boston took control with a 12-2 spurt, capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Sam Hauser and Jrue Holiday, and turned a 72-72 deadlock into a comfortable 84-74 lead with the third quarter nearing an end.

Tatum then helped seal the victory by going 6 of 8 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter. 

Jaylen Brown added 22 points and six assists for the Celtics, while former Knick Kristaps Porzingis had 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting against his ex-team.

The Knicks had a three-game winning streak snapped and played without leading scorer RJ Barrett due to a migraine. Jalen Brunson paced New York with 26 points and Julius Randle had 25 along with nine rebounds.

Antetokounmpo stars as Bucks beat Bulls to end brief skid

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 11 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks got back on the winning track with a 118-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Bobby Portis also registered a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to help the Bucks bounce back from consecutive road losses to Indiana and Orlando, games in which Milwaukee was without star guard Damian Lillard due to a calf injury.

Lillard returned Monday but shot just 3 of 17 from the field while finishing with 12 points and five assists.

Chicago rallied from a 35-18 deficit after one quarter to take a 70-69 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the third. The Bucks responded with a 12-0 run, however, that Antetokounmpo capped with a running dunk that put Milwaukee back up by double digits with under two minutes left in the period.

Antetokounmpo then scored 14 points in the fourth as the Bucks built a lead as large as 17 points late.

Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Zach LaVine added 20 points but went just 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

Fox returns, helps Kings top Cavaliers for Brown's 400th win

De'Aaron Fox had 28 points and six assists in his return to help the surging Sacramento Kings give head coach Mike Brown his 400th career victory with a 132-120 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Fox finished 11 of 20 from the field and had just one turnover in 36 minutes in his first outing since missing two weeks with a sprained right ankle. The 2022-23 All-Star was part of a balanced attack for Sacramento, which also received 25 points from Keegan Murray and 23 points and 10 rebounds from Domantas Sabonis.

Kevin Huerter went 6 of 9 from 3-point range in Sacramento's third straight win. 

Brown improved to 400-254 for his career, with the majority of those wins coming in two stints as the Cavaliers' head coach. He directed Cleveland from 2005-10 and again in 2013-14.

Donovan Mitchell led Cleveland, which trailed most of the game and was down by a 110-89 margin after three quarters, with 22 points. Caris LeVert added 21 points and Evan Mobley had 16 along with 12 rebounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo hit out at the Milwaukee Bucks' defensive efforts after they slipped to back-to-back defeats on Saturday, going down 112-97 on the road against the Orlando Magic.

The Bucks were viewed as one of the pre-season favourites in the Eastern Conference after their blockbuster trade for point guard Damian Lillard.

However, with Lillard missing Milwaukee's last two games with a sore calf, successive defeats on the road against the Indiana Pacers and Orlando have seen them slip to 5-4 for the season. 

Having recorded 54 points in vain against Indiana, Antetokounmpo finished Saturday's defeat with 35 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and the teams' defensive shortcomings left the two-time NBA MVP frustrated.

"I think the individual pride is there," Antetokounmpo said on Saturday. "The team defense is not there. 

"We're not helping each other as much as we should. The gaps are so… I feel like the gaps are wide open. 

"I feel like guys feel comfortable to be able to come down, attack, go downhill, get an angle, make a play for themselves or for their team-mate. Like, I wish we were being guarded that way!

"We have to take it up a notch. This is not who we are. This is not the Milwaukee Bucks. We've got to guard people and it starts with me. 

"It starts with the leader of the team. I've got to be better. But again, it's not one person that can do it alone. Defensively, we've got to show more.

"Sometimes you have to put your body on the line, take that hit, to make it easier for our defense. The last two games, we haven't done it.

"Right now, I feel like we're just being stagnant. We're going back on defense and not showing a lot of help. 

"We're not protecting one another as much as we should and sometimes when we turn the ball over, we sit and complain. We've got to get out of that mentality and stop feeling sorry for ourselves."

Milwaukee return to action on Monday as the Chicago Bulls visit Fiserv Forum.

Giannis Antetokounmpo feels he is rediscovering his best form after a 54-point turn against the Indiana Pacers.

Antetokounmpo starred for the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, adding to his points tally with 12 rebounds, though it was not enough as the Pacers clinched a 126-124 victory.

Indeed, the two-time MVP was partly at fault as he committed two turnovers with the Bucks trailing 122-121 in the closing stages of the fourth quarter.

Antetokounmpo has only finished with more points once in his career. Across his eight games this season, the 28-year-old is averaging 28.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

"I was just; my legs were feeling good," Antetokounmpo said, as per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"I was on balance. I feel strong. I feel like I could attack angles like I have been in the past.

"I've been feeling like this the last three games. That means I'm kind of getting my rhythm back, so I'm kind of happy about that.

"But at the end of the day, it does not matter because we didn't get a win. Hopefully, we can go to Orlando and get a win."

Reflecting on his mistakes down the stretch, Antetokounmpo added: "I didn't take care of the ball on two possessions. I had to shoot the ball, I didn't shoot the ball. But I was gassed and they were able to get a win."

Antetokounmpo's teammate Khris Middleton suggested the other Bucks must take more responsibility, though.

"You could see nobody out there could guard him tonight," Middleton said.

"It was either a layup, dunk or a foul. And I think he realised that, he sensed blood, and he went for it every time. That's what we need on nights like tonight.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't get the win with it. But he did a great job of attacking, seeing double teams, kicking out, knowing when to attack, knowing when to wait.

"Just being patient. I thought he played a great game. [We have] just got to be better at the end for him there, help him out a little bit more."

The Bucks, who are 5-3 for the season, face the Orlando Magic on Saturday in their next outing.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored an NBA season-high 54 points, but the Indiana Pacers rallied late in the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 126-124 on Thursday.

One night after being ejected for celebrating after a dunk, Antetokounmpo was 19 of 25 from the field and 16 for 18 from the free throw line to come up one point shy of his career high.

With Damian Lillard sitting due to an ankle injury, Antetokounmpo carried the offense but scored just eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with eight turnovers, including two at crunch time.

The Pacers trailed 117-108 with under five minutes remaining but took the lead for good with a 16-4 run down the stretch.

Tyrese Haliburton made five of Indiana’s 20 3-pointers, including the go-ahead bucket with 1:29 remaining, and led the way for the Pacers with 29 points and 10 assists.

Bennedict Mathurin added 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Myles Turner chipped in 21 points, six rebounds and four assists as Indiana improved to 6-3 with its third straight win.

 

Young scores 41 in Hawks’ win

Trae Young scored 33 of his 41 points in the first half and Dejounte Murray hit the go-ahead 3-pointer late as the Atlanta Hawks held off the Orlando Magic, 120-119 in Mexico City.

Jalen Johnson had 19 points and nine rebounds and Murray finished with 16 points to help the Hawks win for the fifth time in six games.

Jalen Suggs scored 21 points to lead seven Magic players in double figures, including 17 from Paolo Banchero and Markelle Fultz and Moritz Wagner’s 13 apiece.

Franz Wagner’s hook with 45 seconds left gave Orlando a 119-117 lead, but Murray answered with a 3 11 seconds later and Banchero missed a 3 with 7.9 seconds to go.

The Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets were among the victors as the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament began.

A last-second layup from Steph Curry was the difference for Golden State in their 141-139 group stage win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Curry finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Lu Dort top-scored for the Thunder with 29.

It also went down to the wire in Portland, where the Trail Blazers eclipsed the Memphis Grizzlies 115-113 in overtime.

After a back-and-forth first half, neither side was able to gain much of an advantage through the final two quarters.

Shaedon Sharpe’s clutch free throws drew the Trail Blazers level with eight seconds left on the clock before he blocked Luke Kennard’s attempt from the corner on the other end to force overtime.

Both teams continued to trade baskets until Jerami Grant’s late three proved enough to get Portland across the line.

A late flurry from Damian Lillard lifted the Milwaukee Bucks over the New York Knicks 110-105.

He finished with 30 points, including two clutch threes in the dying minutes, while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 22 points and eight rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Chicago Bulls 109-107 on the back of 41 combined points from Dorian Finney-Smith and Mikal Bridges.

Elsewhere, the Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards by seven points, Myles Turner scored 27 to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-116, and the Denver Nuggets cruised past the Dallas Mavericks 125-114.

The in-season tournament sees each NBA team play a four-game group stage in November, with the group winners advancing to knockout rounds.

The winning team claims the NBA Cup, and its players earn 500,000dollars each, with the final to be played in Las Vegas on December 9.

Nikola Jokic scored 33 points and fell an assist shy of a triple-double as the Denver Nuggets sent the Dallas Mavericks to their first loss of the season, 125-114 on Friday in the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

Michael Porter Jr. had 24 points and nine rebounds and Jamal Murray added 18 points and 13 assists to help Denver bounce back from its first loss of the season.

Jokic shot 14 of 16 and grabbed a season-high 14 boards, coming up an assist short of his 108th career triple-double.

Luka Doncic also just missed a triple-double with 34 points, 10 boards and eight assists and Kyrie Irving scored 22 points for Dallas, which opened the season 4-0.

The Mavericks were without coach Jason Kidd, who didn’t make the trip due to a non-COVID-19 illness. Top assistant Sean Sweeney took his spot on the bench.

Dallas' loss leaves 4-0 Boston as the league’s lone remaining unbeaten team.

 

Curry’s last-second layup lifts Warriors

Stephen Curry scored 30 points and made the winning layup with 0.2 seconds left to propel the Golden State Warriors to a 141-139 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the teams’ first In-Season Tournament game.

Curry’s basket was initially waved off because of offensive goaltending, but it was overturned, and the Warriors notched their second straight last-second win. Klay Thompson hit a jumper with less than a second remaining in Wednesday’s win over Sacramento.

Dario Saric had 20 points and Andrew Wiggins added 17 to help Golden State win its fifth straight since a season-opening loss to Phoenix.

Lu Dort led the Thunder with 29 points – including 6 of 6 from 3-point range - and Chet Holmgren had a career-high 24 on 7-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists.

Oklahoma City played without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who sat out with a sprained knee.

 

Bucks overcome Brunson, Knicks

Damian Lillard scored six straight points down the stretch on his way to 30 points and the Milwaukee Bucks got past the New York Knicks, 110-105 to open the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

Milwaukee survived Jalen Brunson’s 45 points and blew a 14-point lead before Lillard sank a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 104-103 lead with 1:03 left.

Lillard converted a three-point play 25 seconds later to make it 107-103 and sealed the win with two free throws in the waning seconds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Milwaukee, which has alternated wins and losses in each of its five games this season.

Brunson was 17 of 30 from the field and fell three points shy of his career high, set against Cleveland on March 31.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum grabbed 69 points between them as the Boston Celtics cruised to a third straight win with a 126-107 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Brown scored 36 points and Tatum 33, Kristaps Porzingis adding 15 on his return to Washington after an off-season move between the clubs.

It is the second successive season the Celtics, who reached the Eastern Conference finals last time out, have begun with three straight wins.

Their efforts were eclipsed by Dejounte Murray, who matched his career-best haul with 41 points as he helped the Atlanta Hawks come from 19 points down at half-time to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-113.

Steph Curry shrugged off the absence of Klay Thompson with a knee injury as he inspired the Golden State Warriors to a 130-102 win at the New Orleans Pelicans.

Curry scored 42 points, opening with a pair of three-pointers from 25 feet and wrapping his scoring up from 31 feet.

The Dallas Mavericks remain unbeaten as Luka Doncic grabbed a triple-double with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a 125-110 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Nikola Jokic also recorded a triple-double – his second of the season – with 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets saw off the Utah Jazz 110-102.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points for the Milwaukee Bucks as they avenged being eliminated by the Miami Heat in last year’s play-offs with a 122-114 win, despite 35 points from Tyler Herro.

Cam Thomas scored 33 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Charlotte Hornets 133-121 for their first win of the season, while Nikola Vucevic inspired the Chicago Bulls as they came from behind late to inflict a first defeat on the Indiana Pacers, 112-105.

The Portland Trail Blazers also claimed their first win, Jerami Grant scoring 22 points as they beat the Toronto Raptors 99-91, while 32 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Detroit Pistons.

The Milwaukee Bucks will be "tough to stop" in the Eastern Conference race this season after pairing star point guard Damian Lillard with two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

That's according to former Buck Michael Carter-Williams, who believes the Boston Celtics may emerge as Milwaukee's closest rivals after picking up Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis.

After 11 years with the Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard joined the Bucks in a huge three-team trade in the offseason.

He made an immediate impact as Milwaukee began their 2023-24 campaign with a 118-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

Lillard finished with a record-breaking 39 points on his Bucks debut, surpassing Terry Cummings' 34 points on his first outing for the team back in 1984, while Antetokounmpo added 23 points and 13 rebounds.

With those two stars linking up, free agent Carter-Williams – who represented Milwaukee between 2015 and 2016 – expects his former team to enjoy an exciting season.

"They're both amazing players. The things that they do on the court are tough to stop," Carter-Williams – who will play in the G League in Mexico City as he awaits an NBA offer – told Stats Perform.

"You put those two together, it's a tough combination, and they're immediately one of the best combos in the league. 

"It's going to be interesting to see what they can do and like I said, they're both huge talents so they're going to be tough to stop."

Carter-Williams was surprised to see Lillard land in Milwaukee, but he says the team had to do everything possible to secure him in the huge trade. 

"I was shocked," he said. "I didn't see that coming, I thought it was going to be Miami or Toronto, or there was one other team in the mix.

"I didn't see him going into Milwaukee, but the trade made sense. Obviously, it's tough to give up Drew [Timme] but when you're getting a guy like Damian, I think anybody besides Giannis is liable to get traded."

After Antetokounmpo was taken by the Bucks as the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Carter-Williams had the chance to play alongside him during his formative years. 

Reflecting on his time as a team-mate of Antetokounmpo, Carter-Williams said: "It was great, especially seeing him play early on in his career and watching his development.

"Every day, you could see him slowly getting better and better and just to watch his work ethic… he's an unbelievable person. 

"He's a better person than he is a basketball player and I think that's what makes him unique. 

"Watching him play has been great, as a friend, as a fan, as a team-mate, it's been awesome to see."

Milwaukee's offseason moves have seen them touted to improve on 2022-23, when they topped the East but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.

Boston also went down to Miami in the playoffs after finishing second in the East, and they have subsequently strengthened by adding former Bucks guard Holiday and Porzingis from the Washington Wizards.

Carter-Williams expect last season's top two to battle for supremacy in the Eastern Conference again, saying: "I like the Bucks and the Celtics in the East. 

"The Celtics getting Porzingis and Jrue are two huge pickups for them. I like them coming out of the East, in the West, we'll see how things shake up. 

"I think if Anthony Davis and LeBron [James] can be healthy, I think they [the Los Angeles Lakers] are a tough team, they have built a nice little roster over there.

"Then there's Denver, who you can't count out, they got [Nikola] Jokic and they just won it so I think those two are at the top in the West."

The Celtics moved to 2-0 for the season by beating Miami 119-111 on Friday, with Holiday and Porzingis finishing with 17 points apiece. 

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