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NBA roundup: Giannis puts on show as Bucks end Rockets’ streak

Sportsnaut
Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA;  Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) blocks Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate (8) shot in the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) blocks Houston Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate (8) shot in the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a monster performance while Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis Jr. played support roles as the Milwaukee Bucks outlasted the host Houston Rockets 123-114 Friday, snapping the Rockets’ seven-game winning streak.

Antetokounmpo posted 41 points and 17 rebounds and added five assists, three steals and two blocked shots. In the Bucks’ closing run, he nailed a 3-pointer, assisted on a Portis corner 3, and launched a ferocious dunk with 47.6 seconds left that pushed the lead to 119-112.

Middleton added 21 points and eight boards, including a second-chance basket and a 3-pointer with Antetokounmpo taking a quick breather in the fourth. Portis also had 21 points and eight boards.

The Rockets did not go quietly. Garrison Mathews scored a team-high 23 points with a career-high six 3-pointers, while Christian Wood and Armoni Brooks chipped in 21 points apiece, with Wood also grabbing 13 rebounds. Rookie Alperen Sengun added a career-high 15 points.

Nets 113, Hawks 105

Kevin Durant scored 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting and James Harden collected 20 points and 11 assists to lift visiting Brooklyn to a victory over Atlanta.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Bruce Brown each had 15 points for the Nets, who exploited the interior by scoring 66 points in the paint. Brooklyn also stepped it up in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Hawks by a 24-14 margin.

Trae Young recorded 31 points and 10 assists, marking the fifth straight game he has reached at least 25 and 10, respectively.

Suns 111, Celtics 90

JaVale McGee had a season-high 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as shorthanded Phoenix coasted past visiting Boston for its 20th win in 21 games.

Cameron Payne scored 17 points off the bench and Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson added 16 points apiece for Phoenix, which played without star guard Devin Booker (hamstring) and center Deandre Ayton (non-COVID illness).

Jayson Tatum had a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which dropped its third straight game and ended its five-game West Coast road trip at 1-4.

Lakers 116, Thunder 95

LeBron James made his presence felt from the start and scored 33 points to lead Los Angeles over host Oklahoma City.

James was 13 of 20 for the field, including 9 of 10 in the first half. Avery Bradley fueled the Lakers on both ends of the court in the third quarter, with 11 points and three steals. Bradley scored a season-high 22 points, going 8 of 14 from the field with six 3-pointers.

Oklahoma City missed its first 12 3-pointers, not hitting one from beyond the arc until early in the second quarter. The Thunder finished 10 of 44 on 3-pointers. Rookie Tre Mann led Oklahoma City with a season-high 19 points.

Pacers 106, Mavericks 93

Caris LeVert recorded 26 points, six rebounds and five assists to help Indiana turn back Dallas in Indianapolis.

Domantas Sabonis added 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Pacers won a third straight game for the first time this season. Myles Turner contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds and Malcolm Brogdon had 12 points and eight assists for Indiana.

Luka Doncic registered 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Mavericks, who have lost nine of their past 12 games. Kristaps Porzingis tallied 22 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 and Jalen Brunson had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Hornets 124, Kings 123

Cody Martin’s free throw with 5.5 seconds remaining broke a tie as host Charlotte edged Sacramento to end a two-game skid.

Rookie James Bouknight had a breakout game with 24 points for the Hornets, while Miles Bridges notched 23 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 22 and Martin and Gordon Hayward finished with 19 apiece.

De’Aaron Fox poured in 31 points and Terence Davis racked up 19 points to pace Sacramento. Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III all added 15 points for the Kings, who began a three-game road trip.

Raptors 90, Knicks 87

Gary Trent Jr. scored 24 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:11 to play in the fourth quarter, and Toronto defeated visiting New York.

Fred VanVleet added 17 points and 11 assists for the Raptors, who have won both meetings with the Knicks this season. Scottie Barnes had 12 points and career-best 15 rebounds for Toronto, Pascal Siakam had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Boucher scored 14 points.

Obi Toppin had career highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks. RJ Barrett also had 19 points, and Julius Randle had 13 points and 14 rebounds, although he missed a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Cavaliers 123, Timberwolves 106

Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love and Darius Garland each registered a double-double and Cleveland cruised past Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Allen finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, Love notched 18 points and 13 rebounds and Garland had 12 points with 12 assists for Cleveland, which has won back-to-back games. Lauri Markkanen added 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting and Isaac Okoro contributed 16 on 7-for-10 shooting.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. Malik Beasley scored 15 points off the bench and Anthony Edwards had 13 for Minnesota, which has lost five games in a row.

Pelicans 109, Pistons 93

Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and host New Orleans overcame a slow start, opening the second half with a 19-3 run en route to handing Detroit its 11th consecutive defeat.

Jonas Valanciunas added 17 points and 11 rebounds, Josh Hart had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 14 points for the Pelicans.

Trey Lyles scored 18, Cade Cunningham added 16 and Hamidou Diallo, Jerami Grant and Saddiq Bey each had 11 for the Pistons, who have won just four games and last won Nov. 17.

–Field Level Media