Bucks’ Budenholzer delighted with ‘big three’ after rallying with the Nets
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 124-118 victory over the Brooklyn Nets and secure their place in the NBA playoffs on Tuesday.
Milwaukee’s victory took the Bucks to 41-24, narrowing to the Nets (43-23), who are second to the Philadelphia 76ers (44-21) in the Eastern Conference, with the playoffs quickly approaching.
The triumph was also a decisive victory for the Bucks, who also beat the Nets 117-114 on Sunday, in a boost in the seed race.
Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo was crucial, but Khris Middleton came out on top in the final quarter, finishing with 23 points and Jrue Holiday (23 points and 10 assists) made a key save late in the game.
Nets star Kyrie Irving tallied 38 points for the game, while Kevin Durant added 32 with nine rebounds and six assists.
The clippers finish quickly, the suns rise in overtime
The Los Angeles Clippers stormed the house after a slow start to secure a 105-100 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. Paul George finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
The top-flight Phoenix Suns produced a 20-4 overtime to outlast the Cleveland Cavaliers 134-118, helping them return to first place in the Western Conference. Devin Booker (31 points), Chris Paul (23 points and 16 assists) and Mikal Bridges (22 points) led the Suns to Cleveland.
Lonzo Ball tied his career high with 33 points, including a crucial late jumper to guard the New Orleans Pelicans and their playoff hopes via a 108-103 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Hamidou Diallo had 35 points but the Detroit Pistons still lost 102-99 to the Charlotte Hornets, led by rookie LaMelo Ball with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points, including eight from beyond the arc to make history, joining Ray Allen as the only player in NBA history to make 2,800 three career points. The two-time MVP also became the fastest player to reach 300 three-pointers in a season, requiring just 58 games.
Landry’s radar off
Nets shooting guard Landry Shamet normally impacts the bench with his three-point shot, but he struggled against the Bucks. Shamet did one in six from beyond the arc and one in eight overall in his 23 minutes on the field, finishing with just three points.
Hardaway finds its range
Tim Hardaway Jr. felt it in the Dallas Mavericks’ 127-113 win over the Chicago Bulls, dropping an incredible 10 three points in his 36-point posting. Luka Doncic contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double performance to help the Mavs return above defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers to fifth in the West.
Charlotte Hornets 102-99 Detroit Pistons
Phoenix Suns 134-118 Cleveland Cavaliers (OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 124-118 Brooklyn Nets
New Orleans Pelicans 108-103 Golden State Warriors
Dallas Mavericks 127-113 Miami Heat
Sacramento Kings 103-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers 105-100 Toronto Raptors
Knicks at Nuggets
The fit New York Knicks (37-28) make the trip to face the Denver Nuggets of Nikola Jokic (43-22) with the two teams scrambling for the playoffs.