Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 49 points, Khris Middleton had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks edged Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets 117-114 on Sunday.
Antetokounmpo also had eight rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. He went 21 for 36 from the field, helping Milwaukee overcome a terrific performance by Durant. Antetokounmpo finished three points shy of his career high, set against Philadelphia in March 2019.
The Bucks (40-24) won for the third time in four games to pull within 2 1/2 games of the Nets (43-22) in the three-way battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is on top at 42-21 heading into its matchup with San Antonio on Sunday night.
Milwaukee hosts Brooklyn again on Tuesday night.
KINGS 111, MAVERICKS 99
DALLAS (AP) — Buddy Hield scored 27 points, Marvin Bagley III had 23 points and nine rebounds and Sacramento completed a season sweep of Dallas.
All three games were in a span of 15 days, which the Mavericks finished with a 6-0 record against the other teams while going 0-3 for the second time in three seasons against the Kings.
Luka Doncic scored 30 points before getting ejected in the final minute after his second technical foul in another game without European sidekick Kristaps Porzingis, who is battling right knee soreness. Dallas sixth man Tim Hardaway Jr. missed his second game of the season with right ankle soreness.
But the Kings, 12th in the Western Conference and with little hope of reaching the 10th seed that would get them into the play-in tournament, were short-handed, too. Rookie Tyrese Halliburton was forced to leave in the third quarter with a left knee injury, with the Kings already missing two other starters in De'Aaron Fox (COVID-19 protocols) and Harrison Barnes (left thigh injury).
76ERS 113, SPURS 111
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Joel Embiid had 34 points and 12 rebounds, and Philadelphia held on to beat undermanned San Antonio.
Ben Simmons tipped in the game-winner off a miss from Embiid as time expired. Embiid had four points in overtime, all on free throws.
Seth Curry scored 22 points and Dwight Howard added 14 as Philadelphia won its fourth straight to remain atop the Eastern Conference. Simmons finished with five points, six rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes.
Lonnie Walker IV had 23 points to lead the Spurs, who lost their third straight. Keldon Johnson added 19 points, Rudy Gay had 18 and Gorgui Dieng 17. San Antonio was without four starters as Dejounte Murray and Derrick White missed the game due to injuries and DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl sat out for rest.
TRAIL BLAZERS 129, CELTICS 119
BOSTON (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 10 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Portland extended its winning streak to four.
Damian Lillard had 26 points and 13 assists for Portland. Carmelo Anthony finished with 13 points — including a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining to help seal it after Boston pulled within two points.
The Trail Blazers improved to 4-0 on their six-game road trip. They entered the game in seventh in the Western Conference playoff standings and are trying to work their way out of the play-in round.
Jayson Tatum scored 33 to lead Boston, which is trying to avoid falling into the play-in round in the final weeks of the season.
SUNS 123, THUNDER 120
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Devin Booker scored 32 points and Phoenix held off Oklahoma City.
Former Thunder guard Chris Paul had 18 points and 11 assists, and Torrey Craig added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who shot 54%. Phoenix entered the night one-half game behind Utah for the best record in the Western Conference.
Phoenix led 119-103 with 3:29 remaining before the Thunder closed the game on a 17-4 run. Oklahoma City was coming off a 152-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, the worst home loss in NBA history.
Darius Bazley had 19 points and nine rebounds and Theo Maledon added 18 points for the Thunder, who have lost 20 of 22.
KNICKS 122, ROCKETS 97
HOUSTON (AP) — Julius Randle scored 31 points in three quarters to lead New York to the victory.
Randle, who had seven rebounds and six assists, scored 15 points in the third quarter to pad the lead and spent the fourth quarter on the bench with the game out of reach. He scored at least 30 points for the fourth time in five games. It's the 13th time this season that he's finished with 30 points or more.
It was the 11th victory in 12 games for the Knicks and the seventh loss in eight games for the Rockets, who have the NBA's worst record at 16-49.
Christian Wood had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who struggled from long-range, shooting just 8 of 35 from 3-point range.
HEAT 121, HORNETS 111
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and surging Miami moved into sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Miami's win combined with Boston's 129-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers leaves the Heat (35-30) a full game ahead of the Celtics with seven games remaining.
Kendrick Nunn added 19 points and Goran Dragic had 18 for the Heat, who have won four of their last five.
P.J. Washington had 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting for the Hornets (31-33), while rookie LaMelo Ball finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in his second game back from a broken wrist.