Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 36 points, 20 rebounds and six assists as the host Milwaukee Bucks avenged a Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with a 112-101 victory on Thursday.
The reigning NBA MVP has recorded five consecutive games of at least 30 points, 16 rebounds and six assists for the Bucks, who improved to 17-2 since dropping a 121-109 decision to Philadelphia. It marked Antetokounmpo’s first career game with at least 35 points and 20 rebounds.
Antetokounmpo struggled mightily in the previous matchup against the 76ers, shooting a season-worst 29.6 percent from the field (8 of 27) and misfiring on all seven 3-point attempts during his 18-point performance.
Before Thursday’s contest, Antetokounmpo selected Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid as his first pick — second overall — in the NBA All-Star draft. Embiid had difficulty finding his range later Thursday, making just 6 of 26 shots from the floor. He finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Houston Rockets 121 – Los Angeles Lakers 111
Russell Westbrook scored 41 points and Robert Covington added 14 as Houston’s small-ball lineup proved effective again in a road victory over Los Angeles.
Covington made a pair of big 3-pointers in the last three minutes while making his Rockets debut after he was acquired in a four-team trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. James Harden scored just 14 points for the game on 3 of 10 shooting as the Rockets went on a 16-3 run down the stretch to put the game away and win their fourth straight.
Anthony Davis scored 32 points with 13 rebounds for the Lakers while playing through a right index finger injury, while LeBron James added 18 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds.
Portland Trail Blazers 125 – San Antonio Spurs 117
Damian Lillard registered 26 points and 10 assists to help host Portland stage a come-from-behind victory over San Antonio.
Carmelo Anthony had 20 points and eight rebounds, and CJ McCollum added 19 points as the Trail Blazers won for the sixth time in eight games. Gary Trent Jr. matched his career best of six 3-pointers for all 18 of his points, and Hassan Whiteside matched his season best of 23 rebounds to go with 17 points and four blocked shots.
Trey Lyles had a season-high 23 points and collected 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who have lost six of their past eight games. DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and eight rebounds.
New Orleans Pelicans 125 – Chicago Bulls 119
Rookie Zion Williamson scored 21 points, and JJ Redick came off the bench to add 18 as visiting New Orleans defeated Chicago.
All-Star forward Brandon Ingram scored 15 points in 21 minutes before going to the New Orleans bench for good midway through the third quarter as a precaution after spraining his right ankle in the second quarter.
It was Williamson’s fourth consecutive game with at least 20 points. The Pelicans recorded 38 assists on 49 baskets as they completed a sweep of the season series with their sixth consecutive victory against the Bulls.
New York Knicks 105 – Orlando Magic 103
Julius Randle scored 22 points, including a clutch 14-foot jumper with 1:44 remaining, as host New York knocked off Orlando at Madison Square Garden in its first home game since firing team president Steve Mills on Tuesday.
Randle shot an efficient 10-for-16 from the floor, and his jumper gave the Knicks a 105-98 lead as the Knicks secured their third straight win, outscoring Orlando 25-13 over the final nine-plus minutes.
Taj Gibson tied a season high with 19 points for New York, with Elfrid Payton finishing with 15 points, nine assists and a career-high seven steals. Nikola Vucevic led all scorers with 25 points as the Magic lost for the seventh time in eight games.
–Field Level Media