NBA

Antetokounmpo's Bucks beat the Lillard-less Trail Blazers, Brunson carries the Knicks

By Sports Desk November 22, 2022

The Milwaukee Bucks own the second-best record in the NBA after their 119-111 home win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday gave them 12 wins from their first 16 games.

With six-time All-Star Damian Lillard ruled out for the Blazers due to a calf injury, the Bucks were strong favourites, and they used a dominant third quarter to pull away.

On the back of a big game from Anfernee Simons, scoring 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting, Portland trailed by only two at halftime – before Giannis Antetokounmpo took over.

The former Defensive Player of the Year and two-time league MVP controlled the third quarter at both ends, helping to hold the Blazers to 18 points, while scoring 19 himself on his way to a game-high 37 on 16-of-24 shooting. 

While Antetokounmpo is once again a Defensive Player of the Year candidate – having made four consecutive All-Defensive First Teams – perhaps his biggest competition is his own teammate, Brook Lopez.

In his 15th season, the seven-foot Lopez is averaging a career-high and league-leading 2.6 blocks per game, and he improved upon that figure with five blocks and a steal against Portland.

Having played in 15 games this season, it is the fourth time he has tallied at least five blocks, and the Bucks are undefeated in those contests.

Milwaukee have made Fiserv Forum a fortress this season, now 9-1 at home and 3-3 on the road.

Brunson out-duels Gilgeous-Alexander

Jalen Brunson continues to make a case as the most impactful free agent signing from the offseason, scoring a season-high 34 points in a 129-119 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After leaving the Dallas Mavericks, Brunson is averaging career-highs in points per game (20.0), assists (6.5), steals (1.2) and minutes (32.5). His 34 points against the Thunder tied his most ever in a regular season game, although he had 41 in a playoff win against the Utah Jazz in April.

He shot 14-of-20 from the field, and in an encouraging sign, backcourt partner R.J. Barrett also had an efficient outing, scoring 25 on 10-of-16 shooting.

Fourth in the NBA in scoring at 31.1 points per game, Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had another 30 on nine-of-22 shooting, adding seven assists and five rebounds.

Bulls snap nine-game Celtics winning streak

The Boston Celtics had their winning streak cut short one game shy of double-figures, going down 121-107 to the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago's shooting was the story of the game, hitting 14-of-29 three-pointers (48.3 per cent), including their starters combining to shoot 11-of-19. 

Traditionally a mid-range scorer, DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 28 points on 11-of-24 shooting, hitting all three of his long-range attempts, while Zach Lavine was five-of-10 on three-pointers for his 22 points.

Related items

  • Steph Curry 'sick of' Warriors inconsistency as defending champs improve to 25-24 Steph Curry 'sick of' Warriors inconsistency as defending champs improve to 25-24

    Stephen Curry hopes the Golden State Warriors can now move well clear of .500 after improving to a winning record for the first time in three weeks.

    The Warriors won five straight games over Christmas and New Year to seemingly get their title defence back on track, only for consecutive losses to return them to .500.

    Curry returned from injury in their next game, another loss, but the Warriors had not been able to celebrate back-to-back victories since.

    They finally did so this week as a win over the Memphis Grizzlies was followed by Friday's 129-117 victory against the Toronto Raptors, which lifted the Warriors to 25-24.

    Now, the plan is to go on a run, Curry says.

    "We just need wins in general, however we can get them," he said. "It's just the next one up and we've got to figure out the way to win.

    "We've been teetering on either side of .500 for a very long time. I'm kind of sick of it at this point.

    "We've got to figure out how to keep moving in the right direction and stack wins, no matter how we can get them."

    Curry led the team with 35 points and 11 assists, and Steve Kerr saw evidence of his fit-again superstar returning to his best.

    "It feels like we took better care of the ball," the coach said. "When Steph plays like that, the whole game opens up, the whole floor opens up."

    But Curry, who scored 34 against the Grizzlies and 41 against the Washington Wizards early last week, felt he had already found his rhythm.

    The point guard just hopes Kerr keeps leaving him out on the court, playing just shy of 39 minutes in this game – his third-most this season.

    "I felt good, moving well, but I've felt like I've been doing that for a couple of games now," Curry said.

    "It's just everything being in sync in terms of what I want to get to on the offensive end.

    "Don't tell [Kerr], but I played a lot of minutes, and I felt really good for all 39, so I want to keep that up.

    "I haven't got that question that much this season, which is nice. Just to say I felt great; keep it going."

  • Curry and Thompson star as Warriors move up in the west, Giannis powers Bucks past Pacers Curry and Thompson star as Warriors move up in the west, Giannis powers Bucks past Pacers

    The Splash Brothers found their range as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 64 points including 10 three-pointers in the Golden State Warriors' 129-117 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

    Curry top scored with 35 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, making four-of-eight from beyond the arc, with seven rebounds, 11 assists and two steals at Chase Center.

    Thompson finished with 29 points but nailed six-of-14 three-point attempts, along with eight rebounds.

    Donte DiVincenzo made another strong impression off the bench, playing 33 minutes for 12 points with two-of-five three-pointers and 11 assists.

    As a team, Golden State shot at 55.6 per cent from the field (50-of-90), while they had 40 assists compared to Toronto's 24.

    The win improves the Warriors' home record to 19-6, while they nudge over .500 with a 25-24 overall record to move up seventh in the Western Conference.

    Raptors guard Fred VanVleet scored a team-high 28 points on five-of-10 three-point shooting with 10 assists, while Scottie Barnes chipped in with 24 points.

    Giannis dominates as Middleton comeback continues

    Giannis Antetokounmpo held off another Indiana Pacers' late charge as the Milwaukee Bucks won 141-131 fuelled by the Greek's 41 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

    Antetokounmpo made five-of-eight free-throws in the final four minutes as the Bucks held on. Jrue Holiday contributed 20 points with nine rebounds and nine assists.

    Khris Middleton continued his gradual return to full fitness, scoring 17 points in 15 minutes off the bench, while Myles Turner top scored for Indiana with 24 points.

    SGA racks them up again for OKC

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander recorded his fourth straight 30-point game as the Oklahoma City Thunder down the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-100 after scores were locked at three-quarter time.

    Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 35 points, with eight assists and five rebounds for OKC, who won for the sixth time in eight games to improve to 24-25.

    The Cavs were without Donovan Mitchell due to a groin injury, with Darius Garland starring for them with 31 points and 13 assists.

    Meanwhile, Ja Morant recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the Memphis Grizzlies' 111-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

  • Curry and Embiid both fined $25,000 by NBA for on-court incidents Curry and Embiid both fined $25,000 by NBA for on-court incidents

    Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid have both been fined $25,000 in separate on-court incidents from Wednesday's game, the NBA announced on Friday.

    Reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry was fined for "throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands" during Wednesday's 122-120 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Curry was ejected for the act, which came out of frustration after not receiving a pass from Golden State Warriors team-mate Jordan Poole, occurring with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

    It was the third ejection of Curry's career, all involving his mouthpiece, having thrown it at a referee in 2017.

    "He knows he can't make that mistake again," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game.

    Philadelphia 76ers center Embiid was fined for "making an obscene gesture on the playing court" during their 137-133 win over the Brooklyn Nets, where Ben Simmons returned to face his former side at a wound-up Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

    The incident occurred when Embiid celebrated making a layup and earning a foul shot by emulating a gesture made by WWE wrestlers Shawn Michaels and Triple H.

    Nets forward Kevin Durant, who was watching from afar due to an MCL sprain, described the act as a "trash celebration" on Twitter at the time.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.