The Dallas Mavericks ended the Milwaukee Bucks' winning streak at 18 games after prevailing 120-116 in the NBA.

Despite the absence of injured star and MVP candidate Luka Doncic, the Mavericks stopped the red-hot Bucks on Monday.

Not even Giannis Antetokounmpo's 48 points and 14 rebounds were enough to prevent the Bucks from tasting defeat for the first time since November 8.

The Bucks (24-4) were on their longest winning streak since a franchise-record 20 consecutive victories in 1970-71.

Seth Curry and Kristaps Porzingis inspired the Mavericks (18-8) with 26 points apiece on the road in Milwaukee.

 

Rockets rally sets franchise record

Russell Westbrook (31 points) and James Harden (28 points) combined as the Houston Rockets overturned a 25-point deficit to top the San Antonio Spurs 109-107. It is the franchise's largest comeback since Houston rallied from 23 points down against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977.

Pascal Siakam had 33 points and Kyle Lowry posted 20 points and 11 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors past the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers 133-113.

Rookie Ja Morant scored 20 points and supplied 10 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies cooled the Miami Heat 118-111.

CJ McCollum recorded 30 points, Damian Lillard finished with 27 and Carmelo Anthony added 23 as the Trail Blazers edged the Phoenix Suns 111-110. Paul became the second player in NBA history with 18,000 points, 9,000 assists and 2,000 steals.

Zach LaVine's 39 points could not stop the Chicago Bulls from falling 109-106 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were led by Chris Paul's 30 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Cavs get little from bench

It was another tough night for the Cavaliers (6-21), who have lost seven of eight games in December. None of the team's bench players reached double-digit points.

 

Lillard with crucial three-point play

The Blazers guard came up big when his team needed him most. With 25.6 seconds remaining and Portland trailing 110-108, Lillard made a bucket and the foul to put the Blazers ahead and for good.

 

Monday's results

Washington Wizards 133-119 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 133-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Dallas Mavericks 120-116 Milwaukee Bucks
Oklahoma City Thunder 109-106 Chicago Bulls
Houston Rockets 109-107 San Antonio Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies 118-111 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 111-110 Phoenix Suns

 

Lakers at Pacers

The LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers show rolls into Indiana for Tuesday's clash with the Pacers. The Lakers (24-3) have won seven straight, while the 18-9 Pacers are eyeing their fourth consecutive victory.

The Milwaukee Bucks need to make the most of their depth and harness the team's winning culture to keep winning without Eric Bledsoe, according to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Point guard Bledsoe will be out for two weeks with the right fibula avulsion fracture suffered in the Bucks' win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

Milwaukee claimed a 125-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers without Bledsoe on Saturday.

The Bucks have won 18 successive games, two shy of their franchise-record run of 20 set in 1971, taking them to 24-3.

Reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo believes they have the resources to thrive in Bledsoe's absence, also suggesting a lay-off of his own would not impact the team's playoff hopes.

"It's tough, one of the best players in the team, he's been playing amazing the whole season, obviously a big piece of the team," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

"We all wish Bled a fast recovery, come back healthy. This team will be exactly how it is right now when he gets back.

"We did it when Khris [Middleton] missed a lot of games - we were able to win games without him. We've got to do it without Bled, and if I ever miss games, they've got to do it without me.

"We've built a winning culture around the team and everybody knows what we've got to do when we step on the floor.

"This team is deep. We've got a deep team, it's insane. It doesn't matter if Bled isn't playing, I'm not playing - I think this team could be a playoff team, it could be a 50-win team.

"Khris, Bled, me, all the other guys, we're big pieces, big parts of this team. At the end of the day, if we miss games, other guys got to get the job done. So far we've been doing that."

Doc Rivers felt the Los Angeles Clippers had given Giannis Antetokounmpo "a birthday gift" with their dreadful performance as the Milwaukee Bucks cruised to a 14th consecutive NBA victory.

On his 25th birthday, reigning league MVP Antetokounmpo had 27 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in only 26 minutes as the Bucks cruised to a 119-91 home win.

An emphatic victory in a game between two teams expected to compete for a place in the NBA Finals saw the Bucks move to 20-3 while the Clippers fell to 16-7.

Rivers' team have gone 3-6 on the road and star duo Kawhi Leonard (17) and Paul George (13) were restricted to 30 points between them before being pulled early in the fourth quarter.

"It was Giannis' birthday, and we searched all over the city to find a gift, couldn't find one, so we gave him this one," coach Rivers said, per ESPN, after Friday's loss.

"That's all I can come up with because we were awful. They were so much more physical than us. It was not even close.

"We have not maximised them [Leonard and George] offensively yet.

"We keep looking at our offensive numbers, and I've been saying it: It's fool's gold. We're not ready offensively yet. Our numbers say different but this is where analytically, I'm right. I can see it."

Leonard and George also had five turnovers each in the Clippers' worst loss of the season.

"We just have to get comfortable with the plays," Leonard said of playing with George. "Just going out there and being able to run it without thinking, getting into our spots early. The flow will come.

"We're just a work in progress. This team has been put together this year. 

"We've got to figure it out. Some of us don't know the plays coming down, and it's hard to get in our sets. We've just got to keep striving."

The Bucks' 14 consecutive wins is their best streak since 1973, with Antetokounmpo their driving force.

"The fans were unbelievable," the Greek said. "They made me feel special. They made this day feel special. 

"Usually a lot of people, their birthday, they celebrate, they go out, they do all that. But that's not me. That's not what I do. But the fans made it really special for me."

The Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to 14 games as birthday boy Giannis Antetokounmpo inspired a 119-91 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Friday's NBA showdown was one-sided in Milwaukee, where the Bucks (20-3) led by as many as 41 points thanks to Antetokounmpo's 21st double-double of the season.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo – celebrating his 25th birthday – scored 27 points and 11 rebounds in under 30 minutes to down Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers on home court.

Leonard had 17 points for the Clippers (16-7), while star team-mate Paul George added 13.

Elsewhere, LeBron James and Anthony Davis guided the Los Angeles Lakers to a 136-113 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.

James put up 31 points and Davis contributed a team-high 39 points as the Lakers (20-3) claimed their 11th successive road win.

 

Butler's triple-double ignites Heat

Jimmy Butler posted 28 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds – his second triple-double of the week – as the Miami Heat downed the Washington Wizards 112-103. The Heat are 9-0 at home for the first time in franchise history.

The Detroit Pistons edged the Indiana Pacers 108-101 thanks to 25 points and 22 rebounds from Andre Drummond. Blake Griffin added 25 points.

Nikola Jokic recorded a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds but the Denver Nuggets still lost 108-95 to the Boston Celtics.

 

Nance struggles

Larry Nance Jr. played a game-high 41 minutes in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 93-87 defeat against the Orlando Magic. While he collected 11 rebounds, Nance managed just four points on two-of-10 shooting from the floor. The 26-year-old also missed all three of his three-point attempts.

 

LeBron the magician

Somehow, James – surrounded by three Blazers players – made this shot in Portland.

 

Friday's results

Orlando Magic 93-87 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 108-101 Indiana Pacers
Brooklyn Nets 111-104 Charlotte Hornets
Miami Heat 112-103 Washington Wizards
Golden State Warriors 100-98 Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder 139-127 Minnesota Timberwolves (OT)
Boston Celtics 108-95 Denver Nuggets
Milwaukee Bucks 119-91 Los Angeles Clippers
San Antonio Spurs 105-104 Sacramento Kings (OT)
Los Angeles Lakers 136-113 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Cavaliers at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers (15-7) are 10-0 on home court and they will be looking to preserve that perfect record when the Cleveland Cavaliers roll into town on Saturday. After a shock loss to the Wizards in the American capital, the 76ers are seeking a response against the 5-16 Cavs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was ready to "fight" Blake Griffin during the Milwaukee Bucks' fiery 127-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Antetokounmpo scored 35 points as the Bucks extended their hot streak to 13 consecutive wins – their best run since 16 victories in succession spanning the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons.

Milwaukee also boast a dominant recent record against Detroit, having won all eight encounters across the regular season and playoffs last term before prevailing in the initial 2019-20 matchup.

Tempers threatened to boil over during win number 10 against embattled opponents, with Antetokounmpo and Griffin's initial altercation coming after a second-quarter collision.

In the third, Milwaukee's Khris Middleton confronted Griffin after the Pistons star stepped over a prone Antetokounmpo, who was on the floor after being fouled.

"There's going to be a lot of teams that are going to come out and try to be physical with me -- try to hit me, knock me down to the floor," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "I just got to keep my composure.

"At first, I was trying to ... talk back, let them know that this is more than basketball. We can stop playing basketball and we can fight.

"At the end of the day, my team-mates want me in the game, my teammates want me to keep my head in the game and I was like, 'whatever'. At this point, 'whatever'."

Antetokounmpo was grateful for the intervention from Middleton, who scored 17 points.

"I was on the floor, I didn't see exactly what happened, but I saw Khris going out defending me. That's my big brother," he added.

"It means a lot. I always had his back, but now I have it even more."

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer felt his team channelled any frustration with Detroit's roughhousing effectively.

"I liked our fire in the second quarter. I liked our fire in general," he told reporters.

"I think the guys, they're in a good place. They're playing good basketball. So we'll keep it going."

Milwaukee with look to extend their purple patch when they host the LA Clippers on Friday, when the Pistons welcome the Indiana Pacers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has no doubt the Milwaukee Bucks can stay locked in and on top form amid a historic start to the NBA season.

The Bucks extended their winning run to 12 games - their best such streak since 1981-82 - by thrashing the New York Knicks 132-88 at Fiserv Forum on Monday, improving to an NBA-leading record of 18-3, which matched the franchise's best start.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo contributed 29 points, 15 rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes on the floor as the Knicks suffered a seventh straight loss.

Asked how the Bucks can maintain their mental edge during the run, Antetokounmpo said: "We've got to do our job. It starts with the coaching staff, it starts with the leader. When I come here, I'm not thinking about the 12 games we've won, I'm thinking, 'How can I do my job? How can I win tonight?' That's the most important thing.

"What we've done for 12 games, I know we're playing great basketball and everybody's having fun, but that's in the past. We've got to keep getting better, keep improving as a team, because we're trying to translate everything we're doing right now to the end of the year. We've got to keep takings steps forward.

"Everybody shows up every day and they're hungry. Nobody is relaxed. We show up, we do our job, we smile, we're having fun and it's nice. Usually teams tend to relax, but we don't do that."

Antetokounmpo claimed his 20th double-double in 21 appearances this season and believes he has made significant strides as a creative force for Milwaukee.

"I'm just trying to find my team-mates. I get a load of double-teaming, so that was a little bit frustrating because my pass was not as accurate, usually they're more accurate. It was something that I knew I had to do more going through the season," he added.

"I learned from the playoffs last season that I have to playmake the whole game. Mentally I was prepared enough for this season to do it more, and I think by doing that [you] definitely take a step forward, you get better. I think I've got a lot better in that aspect in my game."

Giannis Antetokounmpo was unfazed about seeing his double-double streak come to an end during the Milwaukee Bucks' 137-96 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Antetokounmpo had 26 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes in the victory on Saturday, falling just short of a 20th consecutive double-double.

But the reigning NBA MVP said he was focused on winning, with the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks improving to 17-3 after an 11th straight victory.

"It doesn't really matter. That's not how I'm built. I'm not built around stats," Antetokounmpo told a news conference.

"I think the record can talk for itself. Out of 20 games, we win 17. We can always get better … I'm just here to win."

The Bucks led 66-49 at half-time against the Hornets before also outscoring Charlotte in the third and fourth quarters.

It meant the likes of Khris Middleton (15), Dragan Bender (12), Ersan Ilyasova (11), D.J. Wilson (11) and George Hill (10) contributed off the bench, combining for 59 points.

"Obviously the game plan and the offense that we have, it makes it easy to move the ball and everybody touches the ball, everybody scores the ball," Antetokounmpo said.

"It was just good that we had a lead and we came out in the third quarter and extended that lead and we gave a chance to guys like Dragan, Fran, D.J..

"They came in, they played, they were knocking down shots, they were having fun, so I think as a team we got better."

The Bucks will face the struggling New York Knicks at Fiserv Forum on Monday.

Anthony Davis came back to haunt his former team as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 114-110 over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Back in New Orleans for the first time since his blockbuster trade to the Lakers ahead of the 2019-20 NBA campaign, Davis posted a season-high 41 points on Wednesday.

Davis – who was selected by the Pelicans with pick one in the 2012 Draft – overcame an elbow problem in the final quarter to lead the Lakers (16-2) to their ninth successive win.

LeBron James finished with 29 points and 11 assists, while Jrue Holiday (29 points, 12 assists) top scored for the Pelicans (6-12).

Kemba Walker returned from a neck sprain to help the Boston Celtics top the Brooklyn Nets 121-110.

In Walker's first game back after leaving last week's loss to the Denver Nuggets with his neck in a brace, Walker posted a season-high 39 points in Boston.

"I've been over it. I could have played last game, honestly," Walker said. "If I'm on the court, I'm on the court. I wasn't thinking about anything [but] wanting to win."

The Nets were without former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving for the seventh consecutive game due to shoulder soreness.

 

Embiid bounces back from horror show

After finishing scoreless against the Toronto Raptors last time out, Joel Embiid put up 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Sacramento Kings 97-91. The result preserved Philadelphia's perfect home record at 8-0.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his 18th consecutive double-double as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to nine games with a 111-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The reigning MVP posted 30 points and 10 rebounds.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61 points in the Houston Rockets' 117-108 win against the Miami Heat. Harden scored 34 and Westbrook contributed 27 as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid.

It was a franchise-record night for the Toronto Raptors. The defending champions eased past the lowly New York Knicks 126-98 for their eighth straight home win to begin the season.

 

Oh no for O'Neale

It was a tough 27 minutes for Royce O'Neale. The 26-year-old did not score a point, going 0 for four from the floor and 0 of three from beyond the arc. His Utah Jazz lost 121-102 to the Indiana Pacers.

Coby White managed just two points in the Chicago Bulls' 104-90 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. White was 0 of seven from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts.

 

Harrell ensures Clippers stay hot

Montrezl Harrell's tip-in with 2.3 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 121-119 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a seventh straight win.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 121-102 Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics 121-110 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 97-91 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 102-101 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 126-98 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 111-102 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 121-119 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 117-108 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 136-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors 104-90 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 140-132 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 113-101 San Antonio Spurs

 

Clippers at Spurs

After the Thanksgiving break, the in-form Clippers will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday. It will be another Spurs reunion for Leonard, who left Gregg Popovich's team for the Raptors ahead of the 2018-19 season before landing in Los Angeles. San Antonio have only won one of their past 11 games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was pleased with his decisiveness in a 50-point display on Monday that saw the NBA's reigning MVP emulate numbers last produced by Michael Jordan.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 122-118 to win an eighth straight game, improving to 14-3 as Antetokounmpo produced the second 50-point game of his career.

Antetokounmpo, who now has 17 successive double-doubles, also had 14 rebounds and six assists while not turning the ball over once.

The last player to score at least 50 points, have 10-plus rebounds, at least five assists and zero turnovers was five-time MVP Jordan 30 years ago.

"It's a great compliment being next to a guy like Michael Jordan," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

"Obviously, one of the best players to ever play the game. But what I care about is that I was decisive.

"When you're decisive, you don't turn the ball over.

"I was able to get better, find my angles, try to be low and not try to play as much upright as I've been playing all season and just make the right play.

"It's a great compliment to be there, but all I care about is being better and helping my team win."

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 50 points and collected 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 122-118 in NBA action on Monday.

It was Antetokounmpo's second 50-point game of his career, which helped extend Milwaukee's (14-3) winning streak to eight games.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo also recorded his 17th consecutive double-double – the longest streak to start a season since 1976-77.

Bojan Bogdanovic (24 points) and Donovan Mitchell (20 points) led the Jazz (11-6) on the road.

LeBron James, meanwhile, put up 33 points and 14 assists to see the Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-104 victory at the San Antonio Spurs.

Anthony Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the 15-2 Lakers, who own the best record in the league.

 

Hield has big game

Buddy Hield had a career-high 41 points but the Sacramento Kings still lost 103-102 to the Boston Celtics, who were without Kemba Walker due to a neck sprain.

Bam Adebayo had his ninth double-double of the season courtesy of 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Miami Heat defeated the Charlotte Hornets 117-100 to remain undefeated at home.

Carmelo Anthony moved into 18th place on the NBA's career scoring list. The veteran finished with 25 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 117-94 win against the Chicago Bulls.

The Minnesota Timberwolves triumphed 125-113 over the Atlanta Hawks thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns' 28 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Horror night for Embiid

Joel Embiid was held scoreless for the first time in his career after the Philadelphia 76ers went down 101-96 to the Toronto Raptors. All-Star Embiid shot 0-for-11, missing all four of his shots from three-point range and going 0 of three from the free-throw line. He did, however, manage a game-high 13 rebounds.

 

Dinwiddie sinks Cavs

Playing in the absence of Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a fadeaway jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the Brooklyn Nets past the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-106.

 

Monday's results

Brooklyn Nets 108-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 103-88 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 126-114 Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat 117-100 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 103-102 Sacramento Kings
Minnesota Timberwolves 125-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 101-96 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 122-118 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers 114-104 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 100-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Clippers at Mavericks

There will be plenty of star quality on show when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George travel to Dallas riding a five-game winning streak. Led by the red-hot Luka Doncic, the Mavs have also won five straight.

Giannis Antetokounmpo enjoyed an historic performance as the Milwaukee Bucks outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 137-129 in the NBA.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo posted his second triple-double of the season via 24 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists on Thursday.

Antetokounmpo became the first Bucks player with a 20-point, 15-rebound and 15-assist game.

Bucks team-mate Eric Bledsoe added 30 points and six assists as Milwaukee improved to 12-3 for the season following six straight wins.

The Trail Blazers – playing without Damian Lillard – lost their third consecutive game, despite a game-high 37 points from CJ McCollum.

After scoring 10 points on debut, 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans upstaged the Phoenix Suns 124-121 on the road.

Brandon Ingram (28), JJ Redick (26) and Jrue Holiday (23) combined for 77 points in Phoenix, where the Pelicans extended their winning streak to three games.

Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Suns with 25 points, while Devin Booker had 19 of his own.

 

Rockets at Clippers

On a day the Los Angeles Lakers travel to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics take on the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers host the slumping San Antonio Spurs, Friday's showdown in Los Angeles stands out. Barring anymore load management, it will be the Clippers' Kawhi Leonard and Paul George against Houston Rockets pair James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Giannis Antetokounmpo may have been "excited" about facing Kawhi Leonard, but the reigning MVP admitted his life was made easier by the Los Angeles Clippers star's absence in the Milwaukee Bucks' 129-124 success.

Leonard, who joined the Clippers in the offseason after leading the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA title, missed Wednesday's game as he is dealing with a slight knee problem, and Antetokounmpo took full advantage, scoring 38 points and making four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.

The Clippers are in action again on Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers, and Leonard has not played on back-to-back nights since April 2017 when he was with the San Antonio Spurs, with both the Raptors and Clippers managing his minutes since.

"Every organisation has their own way that they operate," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

"I was excited to play against one of the best players in the league, I think that brings out the best of you.

"[But] I'm not going to say I was disappointed. If Kawhi was playing, you know you're going to have a tough night. You've got to guard him and score. I'm excited to see him in the future.

"I'm motivated when I play against anybody but obviously when you play against Kawhi - one of the best players in the league - you're going to have a little bit of extra juice in you."

Antetokounmpo's brilliant 2018-19 season led to him winning his first MVP award, and the Greek has started the new campaign in even more impressive fashion.

The 24-year-old is the first player in NBA history with 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists through the first eight games of a season.

"He played the whole fourth quarter and was fabulous," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer added.

James Harden almost scored 60 points as the Houston Rockets won a high-scoring thriller against the Washington Wizards, while the Golden State Warriors' season went from bad to worse after Stephen Curry broke his hand.

Harden posted 59 points to lead the Rockets to a stunning 159-158 victory over the Wizards in NBA action on Wednesday.

MVP in 2017-18, Harden was 18-of-32 shooting while going 17 of 18 from the free-throw line as the Rockets registered a franchise-record score.

Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook had another triple-double, scoring 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Wizards star Bradley Beal had 46 points of his own on 14-of-20 shooting, including seven of 12 from beyond the three-point line.

Curry, meanwhile, suffered a broken left hand in Golden State's 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns midweek.

The Warriors star landed heavily on his wrist in the third quarter and did not return as Golden State lost for the first time in four games.

It is another huge blow for the Warriors, who are already without injured All-Star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – who left for the Brooklyn Nets.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, they lost 110-96 to the Utah Jazz after resting superstar Kawhi Leonard.

 

Siakam soars as Raptors roar

Pascal Siakam recorded 30 points for defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who topped the Detroit Pistons 125-113. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort.

Tristan Thompson posted 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 117-111 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic were 95-83 winners against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker put up 32 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.

 

Wiggins highlights Timberwolves' woes

Andrew Wiggins had decent offensive numbers with 19 points, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were minus-27 with him on the floor in a 117-95 loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Sabonis sizzles

Domantas Sabonis had 29 points and a nifty move to the basket in the Indiana Pacers' 118-108 win over the Nets.

 

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 95-83 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 125-113 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-105 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 118-108 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 102-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 159-158 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 110-96 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets 118-111 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 121-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still trying to get their first win of the season and they welcome a talented and deep Denver Nuggets team for the late game on Thursday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo described his Milwaukee Bucks team-mates as "amazing" for closing out a 117-111 victory over the Houston Rockets after he fouled out on Thursday.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo picked up his sixth foul when the Bucks were leading by six points with five minutes and 18 seconds remaining in their first NBA game of 2019-20 at Toyota Center.

The Greek helped Milwaukee overturn a 16-point half-time deficit by posting 30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, making him the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1966 to post a 30-point triple-double in a season opener.

Antetokounmpo feels the Bucks took a significant step forward by holding on for the win in his enforced absence.

"I was p***** [to foul out], I'm not gonna lie," he said. "Obviously, a stupid sixth foul - I got under [Clint] Capela. I could have avoided it, but it's an opener and you're so excited. But as a basketball player you have to control your excitement.

"They did an amazing job [to hold on for the win]. Moved the ball, knocked down shots. Brook [Lopez] executed from the post, knocked down shots and made the right plays, so they did an amazing job.

"It feels amazing. Being down 16 and able to come back and nobody was complaining, everyone was focused on the game - at no point did it feel like we gave up. We played harder, defended harder, executed harder and it's game number one. This can only make you better.

"The chemistry is amazing. We need to keep working on that, and you're going to find adversities throughout the season. But at the end of the day, you've got to face moments like this because moments like this make you better."

Russell Westbrook poured in 24 points to go with 16 rebounds, seven assists and two steals on his Rockets debut, while James Harden had 19 points and 14 assists.

Seven-time All-Star Harden shouldered the blame for the loss and hopes to rediscover his usual "swagger" quickly.

"I didn't play well offensively the entire night. Give them credit, they came back and played well that second half but this one is on me. I wasn't as aggressive enough and that's what it was," said Harden.

"It's the first game of the season so I've got to get my rhythm as well. I wish I would just go out there and make every shot, have my swagger like I will be. It will come."

Westbrook added: "I've got to do a better job of helping [Harden] out. Especially when teams we're playing are guarding him like that. That's why I'm here; to make a better career for him, so he doesn't have to create and do everything like he's accustomed to doing.

"When that happens, we've got to do a better job of figuring it out, [we] kind of waited too late to do that."

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