The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets with 49 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who beat Kevin Durant in a fierce duel, while the Los Angeles Lakers crashed into the Toronto Raptors with LeBron James retiring early due to discomfort.
The Bucks, third in the Eastern Conference, beat Brooklyn 117-114 and reduced their deficit to 2.5 wins, while following 3 of the leading Philadelphia 76ers.
Antetokounmpo, MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the last two seasons, signed his best scoring mark of the season with 49 points, to which he also added 4 triples, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.
On the other side Kevin Durant, MVP of the season in 2014, finished with 42 points, 7 triples and 10 rebounds in a duel with Giannis that had moments of high voltage.
“I wasn’t looking for that (a heads up against Durant),” Antetokounmpo said. KD is one of the best who have ever played this game, you can’t do that. If you do, he will score 50 or 70 »points.
With James Harden injured and Kyrie Irving on a low-key night, Durant took offensive responsibility for the Nets until the final play, when he missed a triple on the horn that could have pushed the game into overtime.
– Lakers growing concern –
Los Angeles Lakers, reigning champions, added their third loss in a row by losing 121-114 to the Toronto Raptors that gave rest to several of their starters such as Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby.
Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry tore the Los Angeles defense to shreds with 37 points, 8 triples and 11 assists, effusively celebrating several baskets in front of the scant crowd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Cameroonian Pascal Siakam underpinned the victory of the Canadian team with 39 points and 13 rebounds.
LeBron James, in his second game after a month and a half out due to injury, had 19 points and 7 rebounds in 28 minutes of play and retired to the locker room during the last quarter with a sore right ankle.
“He is having some discomfort as expected. We decided not to put him back in the match. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, “said Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel.
The center Anthony Davis, the other star of the Lakers, also continues without recovering the form after a two-month absence due to another injury and was left with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
The defeat of the Lakers led to the qualification to the playoffs of their neighboring Clippers, West quarterfinals.
– Tatum and Brown retire injured –
The two young stars of the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, retired shortly before the end of the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (129-119) after injuring themselves in the same unfortunate action.
With just 40 seconds to go, veteran Carmelo Anthony was serving from midfield for the Blazers when Tatum and Brown, who were on defense with their backs to each other, collided, bumping their knees.
After a few minutes lying on the ground, the two All-Star forwards limped off to the locker room.
“I must be fine, see how he feels tomorrow,” Tatum said afterward. “I was able to leave the track by myself, it’s a good sign.”
Tatum finished the game with 33 points and 5 assists and Brown with 16 points and 11 rebounds while guard CJ McCollum was Portland’s leading scorer with 33 points.
– Simmons gives Sixers victory in the last second –
Australian point guard Ben Simmons tapped a ball for a basket in the final second of overtime to give the Philadelphia 76ers the 113-111 victory over the San Antonio Spurs full of substitutes.
With a 111 tie on the scoreboard, Cameroonian Joel Embiid shot a half-round to the basket but the ball bounced off the ring and Simmons tapped it inside with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock.
The basket gave a long-suffering victory to Philadelphia to remain as the leader of the East. On a night that was expected to be placid, Embiid had to be on the court for 35 minutes to score 34 points with 12 rebounds.
– Deck scores 11 points for Thunder –
Argentine forward Gabriel Deck had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss of the Oklahoma City Thunder 123-120 against the Phoenix Suns.
It is the first time that the former Real Madrid player has reached double digits in scoring in the three games he has played so far in the NBA.
The 26-year-old Deck played 19 minutes off the bench for the third-to-last Thunder in the West, who pushed the Suns of Devin Booker (32 points) and Chris Paul (18) to maintain the conference lead. AFP (HN)
Results of Sunday’s day in the NBA:
Milwaukee Bucks – Brooklyn Nets 117-114
Boston Celtics – Portland Trail Blazers 119-129
Charlotte Hornets – Miami Heat 111-121
Dallas Mavericks 99-111 Sacramento Kings
Houston Rockets 97-122 New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder 120-123 Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs – Philadelphia 76ers 111-113 (overtime)
LA Lakers 114-121 Toronto Raptors