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NBA Roundup: Bucks’ Antetokounmpo scores 54 in win; Canadians Barrett, Murray shine

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 54 points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-105 on Thursday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

Antetokounmpo also had 18 rebounds. The Greek star reached the 50-point mark for the third time in his last 11 games. He had a career-high 55 on Jan. 3 against Washington and scored 50 in only 30 minutes Sunday against New Orleans.

The Clippers lost for the second time in eight games and failed to capitalize on a couple of Milwaukee turnovers in the closing seconds. Former Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonhard missed an 18-footer in the final second while being guarded by Wesley Matthews with help from Pat Connaughton.

Antetokounmpo made two free throws with 1:47 remaining to put the Bucks ahead 106-105, giving them their first lead since the second quarter. Kawhi Leonard missed a 12-footer and Paul George had an air-ball a 3-pointer on the Clippers’ next two possessions.

George stole the ball from Jrue Holiday and the Clippers called a timeout with 27.1 seconds left, but Leonard missed a jumper. Antetokounmpo got the rebound but threw the ball out of bounds, giving Los Angeles possession with 15.1 seconds left.

The Clippers again got the ball to Leonhard, who missed once more.

Former Raptor Norman Powell scored 26 points to lead the Clippers. Leonard had 17 points, 11 rebound and five assists, but shot 7 of 26. Marcus Morris and George had 16 points each. Zubac had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

KNICKS 106, HEAT 104

NEW YORK (AP) — Canadian RJ Barrett rebounded from a late-game benching with 30 points, Isaiah Hartenstein made big plays on both ends of the floor in the final minute and New York beat Miami.

New York pulled out the victory after Erik Spoelstra correctly challenged a call that turned a Heat foul into a Knicks turnover. But Tyler Herro’s potential winning 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.

Julius Randle added 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who pulled within a game of Miami for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, the final guaranteed playoff spot. Quentin Grimes scored 17 points, though his biggest play was a pass.

The Knicks’ lead was down to one when he dribbled into the middle and fired a pass underneath to Hartenstein for a dunk with 33 seconds left. After Herro’s tying 3-point attempt rimmed out, the Heat got a steal and got another chance to tie, but Hartenstein knocked away a pass and the Knicks got it to Randle all alone for a dunk and a 106-101 lead.

Max Strus made a 3-pointer to cut it two, setting the Heat up for another chance before Herro’s miss from the corner.

Bam Adebayo finished with 32 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, while Herro scored 25 points and Strus had 17.

The Knicks snapped a two-game losing streak despite playing without point guard Jalen Brunson, who was scratched with an illness unrelated to COVID-19.

Barrett played about five minutes to start the fourth quarter Tuesday, then never got back in the rest of regulation or overtime in the Knicks’ 129-123 loss to the Lakers. Barrett didn’t give coach Tom Thibodeau a chance to consider taking him out late this time, with some strong drives to the basket for timely baskets in the fourth.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — LeBron James had 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and pulled within 63 points of becoming the NBA’s career scoring leader as Los Angeles rallied to beat Indiana.

James has 38,325 points, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holding the record at 38,387.

James gave Los Angeles its first lead on a 3-pointer with 2:35 left, and Anthony Davis’ 11-footer with 35.1 seconds left was the decisive basket. Davis had 31 points and 14 rebounds.

Aaron Nesmith scored a career-high 24 points for Indiana, with Buddy Hield’s 17-foot jumper clanking off the rim in the closing seconds.


CLEVELAND (AP) — Darius Garland scored 32 points shortly after being left off the All-Star team and carried Cleveland following Donovan Mitchell’s ejection, leading the Cavaliers past slumping Memphis.

Garland was one of several players having All-Star-caliber seasons not named an Eastern Conference reserve by the coaches. He added 11 assists.

Mitchell, voted an All-Star starter last week, was tossed in the third quarter for throwing the ball at Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks after the pair tangled under the basket. Brooks also was thrown out.

With the Cavs leading 81-76, Brooks missed a shot and fell in the lane. While on the floor, he flung his arm back and struck Mitchell, who was standing over him, in the groin area. Mitchell dropped in pain and retaliated by firing the ball at Brooks and then charging and shoving him along the baseline in front of the Memphis bench.

Desmond Bane scored 25 points and All-Star Ja Morant had 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Grizzlies.


DENVER (AP) — Canadian Jamal Murray scored 33 points and Nikola Jokic had his 17th triple-double of the season, leading Denver past short-handed Golden State.

Jokic finished with 22 points, 16 assists and 14 rebounds. He had a triple-double by the midway mark of the third quarter as the Nuggets remain unbeaten this season when he reaches the plateau.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 points for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets. They improved to 24-4 at home.

Stephen Curry had 28 points for Golden State.


DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 31 points before leaving with a right heel injury, and Dallas Mavericks on without their All-Star to hamd travel-weary New Orleans its 10th consecutive loss.

Doncic stayed in the game after taking a hard fall in the third quarter when he was winding up for a one-handed dunk on a drive and Brandon Ingram knocked the ball out of his hand as Doncic was bumped by Jonas Valanciunas.

Ingram was called for a foul, and New Orleans successfully challenged. Doncic returned after the break for the review, but after one trip down the court, the 23-year-old star screamed in frustration as he limped to the locker room without looking at the Dallas bench.

The Mavericks were up by 27 points when Doncic exited with 6:47 remaining in the third, and the lead was all the way down to four when Herbert Jones hit a layup with 58 seconds left in the game. Ingram scored 26 points.


CHICAGO (AP) — Ayo Dosunmu matched a season high with 22 points, Coby White scored 20 points and Chicago overcame shaky outings by DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine to beat Charlotte.

Dosunmu made 9 of 10 shots, and White hit three 3-pointers. Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Andre Drummond had 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulls used a big third quarter to turn a four-point halftime lead into an 85-70 advantage heading to the fourth.

Terry Rozier scored 23 points for Charlotte. LaMelo Ball, coming off a triple-double Tuesday night in a loss at Milwaukee, added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists before getting ejected with 1:21 remaining.


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