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NBA roundup: Giannis Antetokounmpo pours in career-high 55

Jan 3, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) takes a shot between Washington Wizards forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and center Daniel Gafford (21) in the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 55 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished seven assists as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the visiting Washington Wizards 123-113 on Tuesday.

The two-time MVP’s fourth career 50-plus-point game came on 20-of-33 shooting from the floor and 15-of-16 at the free-throw line. Coming into the contest, Antetokounmpo and teammate Bobby Portis were tied for third-most double-doubles in the NBA with 21 each. Portis kept pace with his fellow Buck, coming off the bench for 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards with 22 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds. Kyle Kuzma added 20 points, and Daniel Gafford had 11 points and 12 boards. Bradley Beal scored eight points in 13:18 before his night ended in the second quarter due to a hamstring injury.

The Wizards fell behind late in the first quarter and were left playing catch-up much of the way, trailing by as many as 14 points. Milwaukee never trailed in the second half.

Kings 117, Jazz 115

De’Aaron Fox drove for a go-ahead layup with four-tenths of a second remaining, Lauri Markkanen’s subsequent 3-pointer was overturned on review and Sacramento moved into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division with a dramatic victory over Utah in Salt Lake City.

Fox finished with a game-high 37 points for Sacramento. Domantas Sabonis chipped in with 21 points to complement game highs in rebounds with 14 and assists with eight, helping the Kings move a half-game up on the Los Angeles Clippers as the NBA season approaches its midpoint. Markkanen had a team-high 28 points for the Jazz, but needed three more to prevent Utah from losing a fifth straight.

After Fox’s hoop, the Jazz called a timeout to advance the ball, then hit Markkanen along the left sideline, just beyond the 3-point line. He quickly turned and immediately fired up a shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy, only to be disallowed when video review showed the ball was still on his fingertips as time expired.

Thunder 150, Celtics 117

Despite playing without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City shot 59.2 percent from the field and hammered visiting Boston.

Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging 30.8 points per game, was a late scratch with a non-COVID illness. He also has team-high averages in assists (5.8) and steals (1.7). Nonetheless, the Thunder made 58 of 98 shots from the field, including 20 of 40 3-point attempts. The Celtics allowed 40 points in the second quarter and 48 in the third.

Jaylen Brown (29 points) and Jayson Tatum (27) led the Celtics’ offense. Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard each finished the game with 17 points. Celtics guard Marcus Smart was ejected after he received his second technical foul with 2:46 remaining in the third quarter. Smart had seven points and eight assists in 26 minutes.

–Field Level Media