Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 15 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks won their fourth consecutive game by holding off the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 on Friday night.
The MVP candidate tied his career high with nine steals as the visiting Bucks forced 24 turnovers, outrebounded the Lakers 46-27 and held Russell Westbrook to his lowest point total of the season in a 120-111 victory in the game of the week between two of the NBA’s three unbeaten teams.
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Dwyane Wade scored 22 points as the Lakers built a double-digit lead but failed to hold it, falling to 1-3 against a Milwaukee team that is one of the worst rebounding squads in the league.
Wade was back on the court where he began his NBA career in 1999 and led the Heat to a championship. His return brought fans to their feet for multiple ovations and the crowd’s loudest roar came when he was shown on the scoreboard. He congratulated Giannis Antetokounmpo after an emphatic dunk and brought the crowd to its feet again when he fed Lance Stephenson for a 3-pointer after Wade stole the ball from Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo wasn’t satisfied with his performance.
“It wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I should have had more points and assists. So we’ll take it for what it is, and I’ll continue to work.”
The game was the beginning of a four-game road trip for Los Angeles, which closes out with back-to-back contests against Portland and Utah.
Elsewhere, LeBron James scored 21 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Milwaukee Bucks 122-119 for their third consecutive victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a career-high 15 rebounds and 16 points as the Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 113-104. Photograph: Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports
Jeff Green scored 29 points to help the Clippers rally to beat the Wizards 112-107. DeAndre Jordan added 17 points and 15 rebounds, Lou Williams scored 24 points and Danilo Gallinari contributed 20 for the Clippers. Bradley Beal scored 22 points for Washington, John Wall added 22 points and seven assists and Markieff Morris had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Nets topped the Boston Celtics 114-101 behind 24 points from D’Angelo Russell and 21 more from DeMarre Carroll. Jahlil Okafor had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 15 points.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid each scored 27 points and the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 114-103.
The Clippers’ Lou Williams posted a career-high 29 points against the Wizards. Photograph: Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points for the Utah Jazz, but they blew a 22-point fourth-quarter lead in a 116-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Joel Embiid had 27 points, 17 rebounds and six assists as the Philadelphia 76ers held off the Portland Trail Blazers 114-103 for their third consecutive victory. Marco Belinelli scored 22 points and Richaun Holmes had a career-high 23 for the Sixers.
Cleveland’s LeBron James scored 21 points to lead the Cavaliers past the Milwaukee Bucks 122-119 for their third consecutive victory.
James pulled up for a layup as the shot clock expired to break a 118-118 tie with 17.5 seconds left, securing a three-point victory in a game Cleveland could have lost. Kevin Love had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Damian Lillard had 21 points and eight assists, and CJ McCollum added 22 points and seven rebounds, but the Portland Trail Blazers squandered a 22-point fourth-quarter lead in a 116-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mitch McGary had 20 points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes as the Detroit Pistons beat the Indiana Pacers 96-89.