Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame a difficult night from the free-throw line to register 31 points and nine rebounds as his Milwaukee side claimed a 112-109 NBA victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player made 14 of 21 shots from the floor, though he sank just one of 10 attempts from the free-throw line.
Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton drained a pair of pivotal three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to highlight his 25-point performance. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.
Jrue Holiday had 16 points and Brook Lopez added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who overcame a 12-for-25 effort at the foul line to extend their winning streak to four games. Milwaukee also exacted a bit of revenge after being swept by Dallas in a two-game season series in 2019-20.
Luka Doncic collected 28 points and 13 assists and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 22 points for the Mavericks, who saw their season-high, four-game winning streak come to a halt.
It was a good night for both Los Angeles teams as the Lakers were too strong for the New Orleans Pelicans, 112-95 and the Clippers thrashed the Sacramento Kings, 138-100.
LeBron James had 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Lakers while Kawhi Leonard had 27 points and six assists in three quarters for the Clippers.
In Boston, Jaylen Brown had 21 points and eight assists and Semi Ojeleye added 18 points as the Celtics rolled to an 124-97 win over the Orlando Magic in their return to action following a virus-related week-long hiatus.
Jeff Teague finished with 17 points and rookie Payton Pritchard had 16 points to help Boston post their fifth straight victory.
Boston had returned to action after having three games postponed due to some players testing positive for the coronavirus and others being ruled out because contact tracing showed that they could have been exposed to it.
But the Celtics didn’t seem to be affected by the layoff, sharing the ball and turning stops into opportunities to run the floor against an Orlando team that struggled to find a rhythm at both ends of the floor.
Aaron Gordon had 17 points to lead the Magic, who have lost four straight.
Meanwhile Andre Drummond had his second 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season and scored the go-ahead basket early in the fourth quarter as hosts Cleveland Cavaliers held off the New York Knicks 106-103.
Drummond finished with 33 points and 23 rebounds.
In the other early game the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 127-125 in overtime while a later clash saw the Utah Jazz ease to a 116-92 win over the Atlanta Hawks.