Giannis Antetokounmpo urged his Milwaukee Bucks team-mates not to let up after they improved their league-leading record with a 117-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Antetokounmpo's 29 points and 12 rebounds fuelled Saturday's triumph as the NBA's Eastern Conference leaders extended their winning run to six matches.

The Bucks' latest victory came two days after they let a commanding double-figure lead against Boston Celtics diminish to four points, eventually holding on to win 128-123.

And reigning MVP Antetokounmpo accepts there is still room for improvement, despite leading the Miami Heat by seven and a half games in the East.

"We've got to keep getting better, game by game," he told reporters. "I think we're in a good place, but we've got to play good basketball for 48 minutes, not for a quarter or a couple of quarters. 

"We've got to play the whole game and get ourselves to a place that we can play and compete for 48 minutes and be smart for 48 minutes, be sharp for 48 minutes.

"We were focused today [against the Nets]. We had the lead but we didn't play like we had the lead - we played like it was a tied game. 

"We know that Brooklyn is a team that can get hot at any moment. They can make threes, they can go for runs, but we were able to be smart, move the ball and get good shots."

Giannis Antetokounmpo and NBA leaders the Milwaukee Bucks eased past the Brooklyn Nets, while LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers topped the Houston Rockets.

Antetokounmpo's 29 points and 12 rebounds fuelled Milwaukee's 117-97 victory away to the Nets on Saturday.

Khris Middleton scored 20 points for the Bucks, who improved their league-best record to 38-6 amid a six-game winning streak.

James also had a double-double as the Western Conference-leading Lakers powered past rivals the Rockets 124-115 on the road.

After the Orlando Magic snapped their nine-game winning streak, the Lakers bounced back thanks to 31 points and 12 assists from James in Houston.

Kyle Kuzma added 23 points, while Lakers team-mates Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 20 points apiece.

The Rockets were led by Russell Westbrook, who put up 35 points for his fourth consecutive 30-point game, and James Harden (34 points).

 

Sixers end road woes

The Philadelphia 76ers snapped a six-game road losing streak with a 90-87 victory at the lowly New York Knicks. Ben Simmons had 20 points for the 76ers.

The Los Angeles Clippers rallied to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 133-130 on the back of Kawhi Leonard's 39 points.

Rudy Gobert's 28 points and 15 rebounds, and Bojan Bogdanovic's 30 points inspired the Utah Jazz to a 123-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Devin Booker had 39 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Phoenix Suns stunned the Boston Celtics 123-119. Marcus Smart's franchise-record 11 three-pointers were not enough for the Celtics.

 

Carmelo struggles in OKC

While Chris Paul shined with 30 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder, fellow veteran Carmelo Anthony struggled in the Portland Trail Blazers' 119-106 loss. He was four of 13 from the field and missed all three attempts from beyond the arc for nine points in 32 minutes.

 

From Noel to Bazley

After Nerlens Noel blocked a shot, Darius Bazley went up the other end and hammered home the slam for the Thunder!

 

Saturday's results

Milwaukee Bucks 117-97 Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Clippers 133-130 New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Suns 123-119 Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers 90-87 New York Knicks
Detroit Pistons 136-103 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 122-112 Minnesota Timberwolves
Chicago Bulls 118-116 Cleveland Cavaliers
Golden State Warriors 109-95 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 124-115 Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz 123-101 Sacramento Kings
Oklahoma City Thunder 119-106 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Pacers at Nuggets

Only two games are scheduled for Sunday, with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are the only other teams in action. The Indiana Pacers (27-15) are riding a four-game winning streak, while the Denver Nuggets (29-12) are coming off three straight victories.

NBA leaders the Milwaukee Bucks topped the Boston Celtics 128-123 thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo's double-double.

Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and collected 17 rebounds as the Bucks (37-6) extended their winning streak to five games on Thursday.

It was the 35th double-double of the season for reigning MVP Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

Kemba Walker posted a game-high 40 points for the Celtics (27-13) on the road.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers made it back-to-back wins via a 122-95 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Orlando ended the Los Angeles Lakers' winning streak on Wednesday, but they were unable to back up that performance against the Clippers.

Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 32 points, five assists and five rebounds in LA, where Montrezl Harrell added 21 points and Jamychal Green put up 11 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Ingram and Mitchell explode for career highs in shoot-out

Brandon Ingram recorded a career-high 49 points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a stunning 138-132 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz, who had their 10-game winning streak snapped. Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tied his career high with 46 points.

Will Barton (31 points) and Nikola Jokic (23 points, 12 rebounds), Michael Porter Jr. (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Malik Beasley (27 points) helped the Denver Nuggets outlast the Golden State Warriors 134-131 in OT.

 

Hayward struggles

It was a tough night for Celtics star Gordon Hayward. Struck down by injuries during his time with Boston, Hayward was one of 10 from the floor and one of nine from three-point range for seven points in 32 minutes.

The Pelicans soared but Lonzo Ball did not. While managing 13 assists, Ball had just five points on two-of-12 shooting from the field and one-of-five from beyond the arc in 42 minutes.

 

Tatum leaves opponents in a spin

In fine form this season, Boston's Jayson Tatum sent one opponent to the floor while he turned another en route to the basket.

 

Thursday's results

Phoenix Suns 121-98 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 128-123 Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans 138-132 Utah Jazz (OT)
Denver Nuggets 134-131 Golden State Warriors (OT)
Los Angeles Clippers 122-95 Orlando Magic

 

Bulls at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers will look to generate some momentum when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday. The 76ers (26-16) are 19-2 at home and 7-14 on the road as they welcome the Bulls (15-27) to Wells Fargo Center.

Giannis Antetokounmpo showed no mercy in a devastating 21-minute display as the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New York Knicks 128-102.

Antetokounmpo only played three quarters but the reigning MVP still scored 37 points to lead the Bucks past the Knicks on Tuesday.

The Bucks, who led by as many as 35 points, improved their league-best record to 36-6 with a fourth consecutive victory.

Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard posted 43 points as the Los Angeles Clippers cruised past the Cleveland Cavalier 128-103.

Lou Williams contributed 24 points off the bench for the Clippers, who were again without injured star Paul George.

 

Jazz extend winning streak

The Utah Jazz made it 10 successive wins by beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-107. Joe Ingles matched his career high with 27 points, while Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 18 rebounds. Kyrie Irving recorded 32 points and 11 assists for the Nets.

Trae Young's double-double of 36 points and 10 assists helped the lowly Atlanta Hawks soar past the Phoenix Suns 123-110. Devin Booker scored 39 points for the visiting Suns.

James Harden's 41 points were not enough after the Houston Rockets fell 121-110 to the in-form Memphis Grizzlies. Rookie Ja Morant put up 26 points as the Grizzlies won their sixth successive game.

 

O'Neale scoreless

Royce O'Neal did not post a point against the Nets. In 32 minutes, he was 0 of five from the floor, while he missed all three of his three-point attempts.

 

Grizzlies put on a show

Led by Morant and Jackson, the Grizzlies grounded the Rockets.

 

Tuesday's results

Atlanta Hawks 123-110 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 118-107 Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks 128-102 New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 121-110 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 128-103 Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks 124-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Magic at Lakers

Can the Los Angeles Lakers (33-7) make it 10 straight wins? The Western Conference leaders play host to the Orlando Magic (19-21) on Wednesday.

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks were too good for the Portland Trail Blazers 122-101, while the depleted Los Angeles Lakers extended their winning streak.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points and 17 rebounds as the Bucks won their third consecutive game and improved to 35-6 for the season.

Khris Middleton posted 30 points and team-mate Eric Bledsoe contributed 29 for the high-flying Bucks in Portland on Saturday.

The Lakers celebrated their eighth successive victory by topping the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-110 without a host of stars on the road.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Danny Green were all absent for the trip to Oklahoma City, but Western Conference leaders the Lakers still won thanks to a season-high 36 points from Kyle Kuzma.

 

Career night for Tatum

A career-high 41 points from Jayson Tatum led the Boston Celtics past the New Orleans Pelicans 140-105, snapping a three-game skid in the process.

James Harden passed 20,000 career points in the Houston Rockets' 139-109 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He scored 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in three quarters.

Triple-doubles from Tristan Thompson (18 points, 13 rebounds), Kevin Love (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Cedi Osman (11 points, 12 rebounds) helped the Cleveland Cavaliers shock the Denver Nuggets 111-103.

 

Shooting struggles for Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers had plenty of looks but were woeful from the floor in their 109-91 loss away to the Dallas Mavericks. Philadelphia tallied 98 shots but finished at 38 per cent. The 76ers were also nine of 37 from three-point range.

 

Celtics sizzle

The Celtics were red-hot in this team move that stunned the Pelicans and set up Enes Kanter.

 

Saturday's results

Houston Rockets 139-109 Minnesota Timberwolves
Boston Celtics 140-105 Orleans Pelicans
Chicago Bulls 108-99 Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Lakers 125-110 Oklahoma City Thunder
Dallas Mavericks 109-91 Philadelphia 76ers
Cleveland Cavaliers 111-103 Denver Nuggets
Milwaukee Bucks 122-101 Portland Trail Blazers

 

 

Clippers at Nuggets

The Los Angeles Clippers (27-12) – riding a two-game winning streak – can cement second spot in the west on Sunday. The Nuggets (26-12) will host the Clippers after being shocked by the Cavs.

The Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a seventh straight win, while Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers to victory on Friday.

Even without Anthony Davis due to injury, the Lakers were untroubled in a 129-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

LeBron James starred with 35 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, while Kyle Kuzma – Davis' replacement – contributed 26 points.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The Clippers were tested on their way to a 109-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard's 36 points helped the Clippers to their win, while Lou Williams chipped in with 21 off the bench.

Middleton steps up as Butler finishes with 33

Khris Middleton had a double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds in the Milwaukee Bucks' 127-106 win against the Sacramento Kings.

Jimmy Butler finished with 33 points as the Miami Heat fell to a surprise 117-113 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Zach LaVine managed to score 43 points, but the Chicago Bulls were downed by the Indiana Pacers 116-105.

 

Graham struggles in Hornets' loss

Devonte' Graham struggled in the Charlotte Hornets' 109-92 loss to the Utah Jazz. The guard went two-of-nine from the field for just four points in 25 minutes.

 

LeBron passes Jordan

James moved up to fourth on the all-time list for field goals made, going past Michael Jordan (12,192). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15,837), Karl Malone (13,528) and Wilt Chamberlain (12,681) remain ahead of him.

Friday's results

Washington Wizards 111-101 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 123-111 New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets 117-113 Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers 116-105 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 134-121 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 98-94 Orlando Magic
Utah Jazz 109-92 Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Lakers 129-114 Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks 127-106 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Clippers 109-100 Golden State Warriors

 

Lakers at Thunder

The Lakers will try to extend their winning streak when they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (22-16) on Saturday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wished Stephen Curry well in his injury recovery and backed the Golden State Warriors to be an NBA force once again when their star man returns.

Antetokounmpo continued his phenomenal season with 30 points and 13 rebounds as the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks improved to 33-6 with a 107-98 win on their maiden outing at the Chase Center.

By contrast, the Warriors slumped to 9-30 in the ongoing absence of injured All-Stars Curry and Klay Thompson.

"It's weird. I've never seen this," Antetokounmpo told reporters when discussing the demise of a team that collected three NBA titles after being crowned Western Conference champions in each of the past five seasons.

"I've been in the league for seven years now and I've never seen a team go from being in an NBA Final to… not as good.

"Once they come back, they'll be right up there. The up and down is going to be crazy.

"I talked to Steph and wished him a fast recovery. He's going to be back, he's going to be helping his team win and doing what he did the previous years."

If the Bucks' record suggests they are the team primed for glory this time around, Antetokounmpo knows they must improve upon some uneven shooting displays.

After Tuesday's 126-104 loss at the San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee were forced to grind their way past the embattled Warriors.

"We found a way to win, a way to grind it out. In San Antonio we didn't do that," Antetokounmpo said.

"Obviously we can play way better basketball than we did tonight, but it's going to come.

"We've been playing great basketball, there are going to be days when it's not there. So long as you have a winning culture and it's all about how, at the end of the game, you can put yourselves in a position to win, that's good.

"We got the win, it's not pretty. Go back to the tape, see what we did right. We want to play the best we can play, but our main focus is to keep improving.

"Then when it matters the most – in April, May and June – all our habits that we did all season long, we can do it then."

Having the man with 32 double-doubles to his name already this season in their ranks, however, will do the Bucks no harm.

"He's such a threat at the rim, such a great playmaker and passer," Khris Middleton – who weighed in with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists – said of Antetokounmpo.

"If you put him on top of the key or on the wing and he starts shooting those threes, you have to come up a little bit more on him. Now there's just more room."

Milwaukee are back in action at the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

The Milwaukee Bucks returned to winning ways with a 107-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors, while James Harden's triple-double inspired the Houston Rockets.

NBA leaders the Bucks bounced back from their loss to the San Antonio Spurs by topping the Warriors away from home on Wednesday.

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 30 points and 12 rebounds as the Bucks improved to 33-6 for the season, while Khris Middleton added 21 points.

Alec Burks top-scored for the Warriors with 19 points off the bench in San Francisco.

 

Harden stars as Rockets soar

James Harden moved up to eighth on the all-time triple-doubles list with his performance in the Houston Rockets' 122-115 victory over the lowly Atlanta Hawks. He recorded 41 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a nail-biting 107-106 win at the Dallas Mavericks. Jokic scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half, including the game-winning basket with 7.9 seconds remaining in Dallas. Luka Doncic posted 27 points and 10 assists for the Mavericks.

DeMar DeRozan's 30 points fuelled the Spurs' 129-114 triumph over the Boston Celtics.

 

Warren ejected on tough night

Just two days after posting a season-high 36 points, T.J. Warren had a game to forget as the Indiana Pacers lost 122-108 at home to the Miami Heat. Warren managed only three points before being ejected after sarcastically applauding a foul on Jimmy Butler.

The Nuggets did not get their usual output from star Jamal Murray, who was seven of 18 from the field for 14 points in 31 minutes. He also missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Kemba Walker also had a tough night in Boston. The Celtics star was ejected for arguing a non-call after a hard pick by LaMarcus Aldridge in the third quarter. He had six points in 18 minutes.

 

Spider man!

Donovan Mitchell nailed this slam as the Utah Jazz topped the New York Knicks 128-104.

 

Wednesday's results

Toronto Raptors 112-110 Charlotte Hornets (OT)
Miami Heat 122-108 Indiana Pacers
San Antonio Spurs 129-114 Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic 123-89 Washington Wizards
Denver Nuggets 107-106 Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets 122-115 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 128-104 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 107-98 Golden State Warriors

 

Celtics at 76ers

After falling to the Spurs, the Celtics (25-10) will face Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia 76ers (24-14) on the road. The 76ers, who will be without All-Star Joel Embiid, are eyeing back-to-back wins.

The San Antonio Spurs stunned NBA leaders the Milwaukee Bucks 126-104, while the Philadelphia 76ers ended a four-game losing streak on Monday.

San Antonio used a season-high 19 three-pointers to upstage Milwaukee, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

DeMar DeRozan posted 25 points for the Spurs (15-20) and team-mate Patty Mills added 21 points – including six for 10 from beyond the arc.

The high-flying Bucks (32-6) were led by reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists on the road.

In Philadelphia, the 76ers returned to winning ways thanks to a 120-113 victory at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Ben Simmons' double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, Josh Richardson's 23 points and Joel Embiid's 18 points despite a dislocated finger fuelled the 76ers.

 

Doncic with league-leading triple-double

Luka Doncic recorded his 11th triple-double of the season as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Chicago Bulls 118-110. He scored 21 of his 38 points in the third quarter, collected 11 rebounds and tallied 10 assists.

Markelle Fultz – the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the 76ers – had a career-high 25 points to lead the Orlando Magic past the Brooklyn Nets 101-89. Team-mate Nikola Vucevic added 11 points and 24 rebounds.

Nikola Jokic was red-hot in the Denver Nuggets' 123-115 triumph at the Atlanta Hawks. He had a career-best 47 points with no turnovers.

Ish Smith put up a game-high 27 points as the Washington Wizards shocked the Boston Celtics 99-94.

Bogan Bogdanovic's 35 points led the Utah Jazz to a 128-126 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans and a sixth straight win.

 

Nets duo struggle, Washington cold from floor

Taurean Prince was two of 11 from the field and two of nine from three-point range for six points in 29 minutes. His Nets team-mate Garrett Temple did not fare much better, posting nine points on two of 13 shooting and one of eight from beyond the arc.

The Charlotte Hornets lost 115-104 to the Indiana Pacers and PJ Washington struggled. While Washington collected nine rebounds, he only made three of his 12 shots from the field, while he missed all five of his three-point attempts.

 

Trae with the fake

The Hawks might be struggling, but Trae Young continues to star in Atlanta…

 

Monday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 120-113 Oklahoma City Thunder
Indiana Pacers 115-104 Charlotte Hornets
Washington Wizards 99-94 Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic 101-89 Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets 123-115 Atlanta Hawks
Utah Jazz 128-126 New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs 126-104 Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks 118-110 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 111-98 Golden State Warriors

 

Knicks at Lakers

The lowly New York Knicks (10-26) make the trip to Staples Center on Tuesday. The Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers (29-7) will look to extend their winning streak to six games.

The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 127-118 for their 32nd win of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a game-high 32 points as the high-flying Bucks improved to 32-5 on Saturday.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his points in the third quarter to fuel Milwaukee's fifth successive win since a Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs (14-20) with 26 points on the road in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic's NBA-leading 10th triple-double of the season was not enough to stop the Dallas Mavericks from falling 123-120 to the Charlotte Hornets in overtime.

Doncic had 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Mavericks, who succumbed to Terry Rozier's go-ahead shot from range in OT.

Rozier finished with 29 points as the Hornets erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

 

Young sees Hawks soar

Trae Young's 41 points powered the struggling Atlanta Hawks past the Indiana Pacers 116-111.

Jae Crowder (27 points), Jaren Jackson Jr. (24), Ja Morant (22) and Dillon Brooks (22) starred as the Memphis Grizzlies crushed the Paul George-less Los Angeles Clippers 140-114 in LA.

Double-doubles from Fred VanVleet (29 points, 11 assists) and Serge Ibaka (21 points, 12 rebounds), and Kyle Lowry's 26 points guided the Toronto Raptors to a 121-102 win at the Brooklyn Nets.

The Utah Jazz topped the Orlando Magic 109-96 thanks to Donovan Mitchell's 32 points on the road.

Jamal Murray put up 39 points in the Denver Nuggets' 128-114 defeat away to the Washington Wizards.

 

Aldridge goes cold

LaMarcus Aldridge scored all 16 of his points in the first half, with the Spurs big man 0 of seven from the field in 15 second-half minutes.

 

Carter makes history

Hawks veteran Vince Carter, 42, received a standing ovation after he became the first NBA player in history to feature in four different decades.

 

Saturday's results

Memphis Grizzlies 140-114 Los Angeles Clippers
Toronto Raptors 121-102 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 109-96 Orlando Magic
Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 116-111 Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics 111-104 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 128-124 Denver Nuggets
Detroit Pistons 111-104 Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks 127-118 San Antonio Spurs
Charlotte Hornets 123-120 Dallas Mavericks (OT)
New Orleans Pelicans 117-115 Sacramento Kings

 

Pistons at Lakers

The Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers (28-7) will welcome the Pistons (13-23) to Staples Center on Sunday. The Lakers have won four straight, while the Pistons are eyeing back-to-back victories.

LeBron James' triple-double helped the Los Angeles Lakers past the Phoenix Suns, while Giannis Antetokounmpo starred in the NBA on Wednesday.

James posted 31 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the Lakers' 117-107 victory.

Anthony Davis had a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers closed out victory despite being outscored 28-16 in the fourth quarter.

The Bucks were pushed on their way to a 106-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Antetokounmpo starred with a double-double of 32 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks (31-5).

Khris Middleton (13 points), Brook Lopez (11) and Eric Bledsoe (10) also managed double digits.

 

Anthony shines on Madison Square Garden return

Carmelo Anthony posted 26 points on his return to Madison Square Garden, where his Portland Trail Blazers were thrashed by the New York Knicks 117-93.

Nikola Vucevic's double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds helped the Orlando Magic past the Washington Wizards 122-101.

 

Lillard, Thomas struggle

Portland star Damian Lillard and the Wizards' Isaiah Thomas struggled in losses. Lillard went five-of-20 for 11 points, while Thomas was three-of-10 for his nine points.

 

LeBron, Davis combine

James and Davis combined brilliantly during the Lakers' win.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 122-101 Washington Wizards
New York Knicks 117-93 Portland Trail Blazers
Milwaukee Bucks 106-104 Minnesota Timberwolves
Los Angeles Lakers 117-107 Phoenix Suns

 

Raptors at Heat

Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference meet as the Miami Heat (24-9) host the Toronto Raptors (23-11).

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said the NBA leaders can improve, despite celebrating their 30th win of the season before the New Year.

The Bucks will enter 2020 with a league-best 30-5 record after Monday's 123-102 victory at the Chicago Bulls.

Antetokounmpo returned from a two-game absence due to back soreness to lead the Bucks with 23 points and 10 rebounds in Chicago.

"It's definitely surprising that we won 30 games before January and it's cool but we always can get better," Antetokounmpo told reporters post-game.

"We can always do better and we've got to keep improving because the goal is to play late in the season."

"We've created a winning culture. We don't like losing," Antetokounmpo added.

After missing back-to-back games, Antetokounmpo returned and played 27 minutes as the reigning MVP posted his 11th game of the season with 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in 30 or fewer minutes.

"One of the toughest parts as athletes is trying to rush back but I'm trying to listen to my body. I think I have great people around me," the 25-year-old said.

"If I'm good, just go out there and play. When you get caught in between it's like you're hitting your head on the wall because you obviously want to play but something bothers you, you can't help your team-mates."

Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from injury to see the Milwaukee Bucks past the Chicago Bulls 123-102 with a double-double in the NBA.

Antetokounmpo missed two games due to back soreness but the reigning MVP was on the court for the Bucks on Monday.

The 'Greek Freak' scored 23 points and collected 10 rebounds in 27 minutes of action in Chicago, while Khris Middleton posted 25 points as Milwaukee improved to a league-best 30-5.

Zach LaVine had 19 points for the beaten Bulls, with Wendell Carter Jr. contributing 10 points and 11 rebounds.

 

McRae, Mathews inspire depleted Wizards

Jordan McRae had a season-high 29 points, Garrison Mathews scored 28 and Ian Mahinmi put up a career-best 25 as the Washington Wizards stunned the Miami Heat 123-105. The Wizards were without leading scorer Bradley Beal.

The Minnesota Timberwolves claimed their first home win since November 13 after outlasting the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 in overtime. Shabazz Napier registered a season-high 24 points for the Timberwolves. Spencer Dinwiddie's 36 points were not enough for the visiting Nets.

The Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 122-116 behind Devin Booker's 33 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 29 of his own, while Ricky Rubio finished with 18 and 13 assists. The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard (33 points) and Hassan Whiteside (16 points, 22 rebounds).

The Atlanta Hawks snapped a 10-game skid thanks to a 101-93 victory away to the Orlando Magic.

 

Fultz struggles again

It was another tough night for Magic guard Markelle Fultz, who was just one of seven from the floor for three points in 31 minutes of action.

Nets guard Garrett Temple also struggled against the Timberwolves. He finished with 11 points, but he was three of 16 from the floor and one of seven from three-point range.

 

Giannis with the dagger

Antetokounmpo showed no signs of a lingering back problem as he threw down a thunderous dunk against the Bulls.

 

Monday's results

Washington Wizards 123-105 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 101-93 Orlando Magic
Minnesota Timberwolves 122-115 Minnesota Timberwolves (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 123-102 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 104-81 Detroit Pistons
Phoenix Suns 122-116 Portland Trail Blazers

 

76ers at Pacers

Coming off back-to-back one-point defeats, the Philadelphia 76ers (23-12) travel to the Indiana Pacers (21-12) on Tuesday. The 76ers are 7-10 on the road this season and must improve if they are to end 2019 on a high note in the Eastern Conference.

LeBron James led the way as the Los Angeles Lakers ended a four-game losing streak with a 128-120 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA.

James posted a double-double to snap the Lakers' season-long winless run away to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.

In doubt with a groin problem, James took to the court and scored 21 points and tallied 16 assists for the Lakers in Portland.

Kyle Kuzma put up 24 points and Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis added 20 points.

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard had a game-high 31 points as Portland lost their third consecutive game.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers lost 120-107 at home to the Utah Jazz.

Paul George had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard recorded 19 points, but the Clippers went down to the visiting Jazz – who were led by Donovan Mitchell's 30 points.

 

Doncic delivers another triple-double

It was the Luka Doncic show as the Dallas Mavericks star had 31 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds in just 30 minutes. His ninth triple-double of the season led the Mavericks past the Golden State Warriors 141-121. Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell finished with 35 points and nine three-pointers.

James Harden starred with 44 points and 10 rebounds as the Houston Rockets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 108-98.

Joel Embiid posted 35 points and 11 rebounds but the Philadelphia 76ers suffered a heartbreaking 117-116 overtime loss to the Miami Heat.

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors topped the Boston Celtics 113-97 thanks to Kyle Lowry's 30 points. Serge Ibaka contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan (29 points) and LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points, 12 rebounds) combined to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 136-109.

 

Fultz falters

Former number one pick Markelle Fultz has shown glimpses of his talent this season. However, Fultz was just one of 10 from the floor in 30 minutes of action. He finished with just four points as the Orlando Magic went down 111-100 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

 

Happy Holidays

Jrue, Justin and Aaron Holiday made history in the New Orleans Pelicans' 120-98 victory against the Indiana Pacers. It was the first time in the NBA three brothers shared the court at the same time.

 

Saturday's results

Denver Nuggets 119-110 Memphis Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors 113-97 Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans 120-98 Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat 117-116 Philadelphia 76ers (OT)
Chicago Bulls 116-81 Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers 94-88 Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks 107-100 Washington Wizards
Houston Rockets 108-98 Brooklyn Nets
San Antonio Spurs 136-109 Detroit Pistons
Dallas Mavericks 141-121 Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks 111-100 Orlando Magic
Phoenix Suns 112-110 Sacramento Kings
Los Angeles Lakers 128-120 Portland Trail Blazers
Utah Jazz 120-107 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Mavs at Lakers

Doncic and the Mavericks will travel to Los Angeles on Sunday to face James and the Lakers in a Western Conference showdown.

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss his second consecutive game due to back soreness.

The Bucks will be without reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo for Saturday's clash against the Orlando Magic, the team announced.

Antetokounmpo sat out Milwaukee's 112-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday because of his back problem.

"He did some work earlier today and he is making progress. I think he is very close," Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters pre-game on Saturday.

"Just not ready to go or not capable tonight. We'll hope that not playing tonight and another day without a game, he will return soon."

This season, Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.5 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game for the league-leading Bucks (28-5).

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