MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, Khris Middleton hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks held off the Boston Celtics 98-97 on Thursday night.
On the second-to-last position, Marcus Smart forced a jump ball with Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo tipped the jump to Brook Lopez, who deflected it toward the basket, but missed as the shot clock expired.
The referees huddled during the timeout and put 3.5 seconds on the clock for the Celtics.
Smart inbounded the ball over the towering Lopez and dropped a pass into Kyrie Irving’s hands at the top of the key. With Eric Bledsoe draped all over him, Irving drove the lane, seemed to stumble and missed an awkward shot as time expired. The Bucks won the season series 2-1, their first over the Celtics since 2014-15.
Antetokounmpo added 13 rebounds, Middleton had 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, and Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points for the Bucks. They have won 15 of the last 17 games, including nine of the last 10, to improve to 44-14. Horford added 21 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for Boston.
76ers 106, Heat 102
PHILADELPHIA – Tobias Harris had 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, JJ Redick hit a late 3-pointer and Philadelphia overcame All-Star center Joel Embiid’s absence to beat Miami.
Ben Simmons added 21 points, Boban Marjanovic had 19 – including three free throws in the final 1 1/2 minutes – and Jimmy Butler 18. Embiid will be out at least a week with a sore left knee.
Dwyane Wade scored 19 points for Miami, and Dion Waiters added 18.
Miami led 99-98 after Wade’s runner with 1:56 left. Marjanovic made two free throws to put Philadelphia ahead 100-99. Following Wade’s missed jumper, Redick made the 3 from the top of the key to make it 103-99 with 1:04 left.
Kelly Olynyk then missed a 3-point attempt, and Marjanovic made the first of two free throws with 38.3 ticks left to put Philadelphia up five.
Warriors 125, Kings 123
OAKLAND, Calif. – Stephen Curry scored 36 points, hitting 10 3-pointers, and Golden State survived a hectic finish to beat Sacramento.
Kevin Durant added 28 points, nine rebounds and tied his career-high with seven blocks. DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first game against his former team since signing with the Warriors this past offseason.
The Warriors led most of the fourth quarter behind Curry’s 11 points. The two-time MVP shot 12 of 23 overall and was 10 of 16 beyond the arc.
Golden State still had to hold on to avoid back-to-back losses. Sacramento trailed 123-117 with 25.5 seconds remaining but closed within 125-123 following back-to-back 3s by Buddy Hield. After Andre Iguodala missed a pair of free throws, the Kings had a chance to tie, but Hield shot an airball as time expired.
Marvin Bagley III had 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings. Hield had 19 points and seven rebounds while De’Aaron Fox added 18 points and eight assists.
Lakers 111, Rockets 106
LOS ANGELES – LeBron James scored 29 points, Brandon Ingram added 27 and Los Angeles rallied from a 19-point deficit midway through the third quarter to defeat Houston.
The Lakers trailed most of the game and were down 95-88 with 7:49 remaining when they went on a 17-4 run over a six-minute span. James, who scored eight points during the run, gave Los Angeles a 99-97 lead with 4:15 remaining. They would lead by as many as eight in the final minute.
It is Los Angeles’ sixth comeback victory this season when trailing by 15 or more at any point.
Cavaliers 111, Suns 98
CLEVELAND – Cedi Osman scored 19 points, Kevin Love had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Cleveland sent Phoenix to its franchise-record 16th straight loss.
NBA-worst Phoenix (11-49) topped the record of 15 set March 2- April 1, 2018. The Suns’ last victory was Jan. 12 over Denver.
Love played 22 minutes in his third game since returning from foot surgery. He was 6 of 13 from the field.
Devin Booker scored 30 points for Phoenix, and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 23.
Trail Blazers 113, Nets 99
NEW YORK – Jusuf Nurkic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, new backup Enes Kanter added 18 points and nine boards in his Portland debut, and the Trail Blazers beat Brooklyn.
The center tandem was so good that the Trail Blazers didn’t even need a big night from All-Star guard Damian Lillard, who was just 5 for 21 from the field. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Kanter, who signed last week with the Blazers after losing his job with the Knicks, made his first seven shots and finished 8 for 9, missing only a 3-pointer.
Allen Crabbe had 17 points for the Nets.
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