Bucks 126, Grizzlies 114
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 15 rebounds, and Khris Middleton scored 27 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 126-114 victory over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Memphis, which had won 12 of 13, was without two of its leading scorers in Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane. Brooks, averaging 18.4 points per game, sat out with a left ankle sprain, while Bane (17.7 ppg) was in the NBA's health and safety protocol.
Ja Morant had 33 points and 14 assists, and Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 29 for Memphis in the opener of a four-game road swing. Without Bane, sixth in the NBA with 131 3-pointers, the Grizzlies were just 9 of 40 beyond the arc.
Morant capped a seven-point run with a drive down the lane to pull the Grizzlies to 114-111 with 2:32 left, but George Hill hit two free throws and Antetokounmpo scored six straight to make it 122-111.
"I think just his ability to do it different ways," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said about Antetokounmpo. "I think also including he's getting to the line, he's making free throws. His ability to kind of get to his spots in the post with a variety of moves ... and then I think of him as a playmaker, as a passer. That's what makes him special. We're fortunate to have him."
Hill and Bobby Portis each scored 14 points for Milwaukee, which had dropped six of eight.
Memphis pulled within 96-89 to open the fourth quarter, but De'Anthony Melton missed a pair of free throws. The Bucks responded with a layup by Hill and Middleton's baseline jumper to make it 102-91.
Middleton's 3-pointer put the Bucks up 108-93 with just under seven minutes remaining.
"Great resiliency from our guys," Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. "Credit the Bucks, they played great tonight. They were hitting on all cylinders, especially in that first half. When we tried to make our run there in the third quarter, they had a response. Every time we scored, they scored.
"For our guys to dig down in that fourth quarter and keep fighting, we've got a lot of different guys playing different roles right now. Our activity was great when we needed it to cut it down to three, a one-possession game, just couldn't get enough stops there late in the game."
The Bucks led 73-59 when Antetokounmpo picked up his fourth foul with 8:30 left in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies were unable to capitalize. Milwaukee led 88-75 when Antetokounmpo returned after five minutes.
Milwaukee went 9 of 19 from beyond the arc in the first half en route to a 61-47 lead at the break. The Grizzlies were 4 for 23 from 3-point range.
Antetokounmpo had 15 points, including a pair of 3s, to help the Bucks to a 36-30 lead after one quarter.
Morant shot 12 of 27, including 4 of 10 on 3s, and matched his career high for assists.
"I've liked him since he came into the league," Antetokounmpo said. "Unbelievable player, plays the right way. He's getting better each year. He's getting his teammates involved. He's building a great culture with Coach Taylor in Memphis. They're a young team, a great team. The future is bright for his team and for himself, also. But, he's been playing great. He's one of the best point guards in the league, in my opinion."
Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, who missed the previous six games (one in health and safety protocols, five with a left ankle injury) was active after working out before the game. He entered with 5:04 left in the first quarter. The Bucks were 2-4 during his most recent absence, and 4-9 overall in games he's missed. Holiday played 22 minutes, scoring nine points on 2-of-8 shooting with four assists and five rebounds.
Memphis signed guard Shaquille Harrison to a 10-day contract under the NBA's COVID-19-related hardship exception. Harrison (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) has appeared in 175 games over five seasons with Phoenix, Chicago, Utah, Denver and Brooklyn, averaging 5.2 points. He played in two games for the Nets earlier this season.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins returned after missing six games due to health and safety protocols. Memphis was 5-1 in his absence under assistants Brad Jones and Darko Rajakovic.
Grizzlies point guard Tyrus Jones was added to the health and safety protocols list, joining forward Kyle Anderson, Bane and post Killian Tillie.
76ers 123, Magic 110
Joel Embiid tied his career high with 50 points in just 27 minutes, leading a dominant third quarter that carried the Philadelphia 76ers to a 123-110 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
Embiid also had 12 rebounds and three blocks while making 17 of 23 field goals and 15 of 17 free throws. The four-time All-Star and MVP candidate played 58 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Tobias Harris added 21 points for the 76ers, who have won nine of 11.
Mo Bamba set career highs with 32 points and seven 3-pointers for Orlando. The rebuilding Magic dropped to an NBA-worst 8-38 with their 13th defeat in the last 14 games.
Pacers 111, Lakers 104
Caris LeVert scored 22 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, Malcolm Brogdon added 19 and Indiana increased the pressure on Lakers coach Frank Vogel.
Domantas Sabonis had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the Pacers snapped their four-game losing streak with just their second victory in 12 games. The Eastern Conference's 13th-place team roared past the Lakers in the fourth, starting with a 14-2 run led by LeVert and concluding with his three consecutive buckets in the final two minutes.
LeBron James had 30 points and 12 rebounds — including the 10,000th of his career — for the Lakers, who have lost four of five to fall back below .500. Talen Horton-Tucker added 20 points in the latest embarrassing loss during a season dotted with them for the 17-time champion franchise.
Nuggets 130, Clippers 128 (OT)
Nikola Jokic had 49 points and 14 rebounds, and the reigning MVP fed Aaron Gordon for a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in overtime for his 10th assist to give Denver a wild victory over Los Angeles.
Jokic drew a double-team, then whipped a pass across the court into the left corner. Gordon made his fourth 3 of the game to give him 28 points and Jokic his third straight triple-double and 10th of the season.
Nuggets reserve Devon Reed came onto the floor after Gordon's basket and received a technical foul. After Luke Kennard hit the free throw, Reggie Jackson's long 3-pointer bounced off the glass and rim at the buzzer.
Monte Morris added 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Nuggets won for the third time in four games.
Ivica Zubac had a career-high 32 points and added 10 rebounds. Jackson had 28 points and 12 assists as the Clippers lost their second straight to begin an eight-game road trip, longest in the NBA this season.
Heat 104, Trail Blazers 92
Caleb Martin scored 26 points, Bam Adebayo added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and short-handed Miami beat Portland.
Max Strus scored 15 points for Miami, including a 3-pointer with 2:01 remaining that put the Heat up 10. Dewayne Dedmon scored 12 for the Heat, who started the game without Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro — then lost Jimmy Butler to a first-half ejection.
Lowry missed the game for personal reasons. Herro entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Wednesday.
Anfernee Simons scored 27 points, CJ McCollum scored 24 and Jusuf Nurkic finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds for Portland. Robert Covington added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Hawks 134, Timberwolves 122
Trae Young scored 23 of his 37 points in the third quarter, sparking Atlanta's comeback against Minnesota.
Led by Young, who had 14 assists, the Hawks opened the second half with a 20-2 run after the Timberwolves led 73-61 at halftime. Minnesota's biggest lead was 16 points in the first quarter.
De'Andre Hunter had 22 points for Atlanta. D'Angelo Russell led Minnesota with 31 points.
Minnesota's Anthony Edwards drew two technical fouls and was ejected with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Edwards thought he had been fouled on a drive to the basket and continued to argue his case following his first technical.
Bulls 117, Cavaliers 104
DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 12 rebounds, and struggling Chicago closed out Cleveland with a 14-2 run.
The Bulls steadied themselves after losing a season-high four straight and falling into a first-place tie with Miami in the Eastern Conference.
Ayo Dosunmu nailed a 3-pointer for Chicago with just over four minutes remaining to start the decisive rally. Vucevic hit two 3s and a layup during that stretch, helping Chicago stop Cleveland's season-high, five-game win streak.
Dosunmu scored 18 points. Coby White added 16 points and four steals.
Lauri Markkanen led Cleveland with 28 points in his first game in Chicago and second against the Bulls since a sign-and-trade deal in August. Darius Garland had 20 points and 12 assists for the Cavs, and Evan Mobley added 18 points.
Rockets 116, Jazz 111
Garrison Mathews scored 23 points, including five 3-pointers, to send Houston over struggling Utah.
Jae'sean Tate chipped in with 18 points and Eric Gordon scored 16. Kevin Porter Jr. had 15 points and eight assists, while Christian Wood added 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The Rockets won for the third time in four games after shooting 22 of 45 from 3-point range.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 29 points to lead Utah. Rudy Gobert had 23 points and nine rebounds.
The Jazz lost their third straight home game and are 1-6 in their last seven overall.
Utah pulled to 111-109 with 42.4 seconds left but Porter answered with a 3 to seal a comeback win for Houston, which trailed by 13 in the third quarter before going on an 18-1 run.
Mavericks 102, Raptors 98
Luka Doncic scored a season-high 41 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:01 to play, and tied a season best with 14 rebounds as surging Dallas held off Toronto.
Kristaps Porzingis had 18 points and seven rebounds to help Dallas win its fourth straight and 10th in 11 games. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 off the bench for the Mavericks, who host NBA-best Phoenix on Thursday.
Pascal Siakam scored 20 points for the Raptors, who have lost four of five following a six-game winning streak. Toronto had six double-figure scorers while using only seven players.
Spurs 118, Thunder 96
Dejounte Murray had 23 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio made 15 3-pointers as it rolled past Oklahoma City.
It was Murray's eighth triple-double of the season and 12th of his career.
Doug McDermott scored 20 points and Devin Vassell had 19 for San Antonio. Jakob Poeltl added 13 points and matched a season high with four blocked shots.
Aaron Wiggins scored 19 points, Lu Dort had 15 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 13 for Oklahoma City. The Thunder have lost three straight and eight of nine.
Pistons 133, Kings 131
Cory Joseph made a 14-foot jumper with 25.9 seconds remaining to cap a game-ending 11-0 run that rallied Detroit past Sacramento.
Saddiq Bey had 30 points and seven rebounds to help the Pistons (11-33) win their fourth in seven games. Kelly Olynyk added a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds.
Joseph, the former Kings guard who was dealt to the Pistons at the trade deadline last year, finished with 19 points and nine assists.
Terence Davis scored 14 of his career-high 35 points in the fourth quarter for the Kings. De'Aaron Fox added 27 points, eight assists and six rebounds but missed a 14-footer at the buzzer.
Sacramento has dropped seven of nine. The Kings led 131-122 with 2:34 left but went scoreless the rest of the way.
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