Giannis Antetokounmpo totaled 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season, and the Milwaukee Bucks never trailed to match the best 30-game start in team history with a 123-102 victory over the host New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Dec 21, 2019; New York, New York, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots the ball as New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
The Bucks won for the 20th time in 21 games and improved to 26-4, matching the start by the 1971-72 team that won 63 games with Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
Listed as probable due to back soreness, Antetokounmpo produced his 17th career triple-double and first in 23 career games against the Knicks. His latest big game helped the Bucks to their 10th win in the last 11 meetings with New York.
The Knicks took their second straight double-digit loss to an upper-echelon Eastern Conference opponent and dropped to 3-5 under interim coach Mike Miller. Julius Randle led the Knicks with 20 points and Kevin Knox added 19 but New York shot 40.2 percent, missed 21 of 30 3-point attempts.
Houston Rockets 139 – Phoenix Suns 125
James Harden drained nine 3-pointers while recording 47 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead Houston over host Phoenix.
Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 10 assists as the Rockets defeated the Suns for the 13th straight time. Houston shot 58.6 percent from the field, including 19 of 41 from 3-point range. Harden hit 15 of 27 shots and was 9 of 19 from behind the arc.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 26 points for the Suns, who lost their sixth in a row and 14th in their past 18. Devin Booker added 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Center Deandre Ayton (ankle) and point guard Ricky Rubio (illness) sat out for the Suns.
Los Angeles Clippers 134 – San Antonio Spurs 109
Kawhi Leonard was booed loudly every time he touched the ball but still poured in 26 points, leading six Los Angeles players in double-figure scoring as the visitors routed San Antonio.
Leonard was traded from the Spurs to Toronto before last season, then signed with the Clippers this past offseason. He added nine assists and seven rebounds. Montrezl Harrell had 21 points, with Lou Williams scoring 20 for the Clippers.
DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 24 points (20 in the first half), while Marco Belinelli added 17, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 12, and Dejounte Murray and Derrick White contributed 10 apiece.
Utah Jazz 114 – Charlotte Hornets 107
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 26 points as Utah used a strong late-game kick to defeat the host Charlotte, pushing its winning streak to five games.
Utah has won its first two stops of a three-game road trip. The Jazz outscored Charlotte 58-43 in the second half.
Donovan Mitchell added 20 points for Utah, and Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 19 rebounds. Bogdanovic hit four 3-point baskets and went 8-for-8 on free throws. The Jazz were 19 of 20 as a team from the foul line.
Brooklyn Nets 122 – Atlanta Hawks 112
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 39 points as Brooklyn overcame an 18-point deficit and stormed back in the fourth quarter to beat Atlanta in New York.
The Nets improved to 12-6 without Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) and overcame a 47-point showing from Atlanta star Trae Young, who came within two of his career-high.
Dinwiddie shot 13-of-27 in producing his sixth 30-point game of the season and 11th of his career. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter when the Nets outscored Atlanta 37-14.
Philadelphia 76ers 125 – Washington Wizards 108
Joel Embiid had 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 20th double-double, and host Philadelphia defeated Washington to snap its season-high three-game losing streak.
Josh Richardson added 21 points, Tobias Harris contributed 16, and Ben Simmons had 14 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and four steals. The Sixers also broke a two-game home losing skid after winning their first 14 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Bradley Beal was stellar from beginning to end with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Isaiah Thomas added 20 points for the Wizards, who lost their third in a row. Thomas was ejected for going into the stands with 2:53 left in the game.
Portland Trail Blazers 113 – Minnesota Timberwolves 106
Damian Lillard recorded 29 points and seven assists to help Portland post a victory over visiting Minnesota.
CJ McCollum added 26 points, and Kent Bazemore tallied 19 as the Trail Blazers won their fourth straight game and ninth in their past 13. Hassan Whiteside contributed 16 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Skal Labissiere added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Blazers.
Andrew Wiggins had 33 points and three blocks for the Wolves, who lost their 10th straight game. Jeff Teague added 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds off the bench for Minnesota, which was without Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) for the third straight game.
Chicago Bulls 119 – Detroit Pistons 107
Zach LaVine poured in 33 points, and Chicago raced past host Detroit.
Rookie Coby White supplied 19 points off the bench for the Bulls, while Tomas Satoransky had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Lauri Markkanen tossed 15 points with seven rebounds, and Wendell Carter Jr. added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the victors.
Markieff Morris had a season-high 23 points and six assists for Detroit, which has lost four straight. Andre Drummond supplied 19 points and 14 rebounds. Luke Kennard added 16 points, and Tim Frazier chipped in a season-high 13 points and nine assists.
Memphis Grizzlies 119 – Sacramento Kings 115
Balanced scoring and a solid defensive effort on Buddy Hield powered host Memphis past Sacramento.
Jaren Jackson Jr. led seven Grizzlies scoring in double figures with 18 points on a night where neither side’s leading scorer could muster much offensively.
While Memphis held Hield to just eight points on 3-of-18 shooting from the floor, Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant finished with 13 points, but was stuck on four until deep in the second half.
—Field Level Media