Embiid, 76ers overcome Antetokounmpo's 52 to beat Bucks
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 52 points, but Joel Embiid had 40 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers over the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.
Antetokounmpo was 15 of 26 from the field, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range, and made 19 of 21 free throws to better his previous career best by eight points.
Embiid and the Sixers weathered a late charge by Milwaukee to beat the team with the best overall record in the NBA (52-18) and the top home record (27-6). It was the fifth time this season Embiid scored 40 or more points and came in his fourth game back after missing nine straight with left knee soreness.
Jimmy Butler added 27 points, JJ Redick 19 and Tobias Harris 12 for the Sixers, near the top of the Eastern Conference standings at 45-15.
Milwaukee had a brief scare when Antetokounmpo was fouled on a driving layup and landed awkwardly late in the third. He got up favoring his right leg, but then sank one of two free throws.
KNICKS 124, LAKERS 123
NEW YORK (AP) — Mario Hezonja blocked LeBron James’ potential game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds to play, allowing the Knicks to complete a late rally and beat the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers led by 11 with under 3 ½ minutes to play before the Knicks charged back largely because of their defense against James. DeAndre Jordan also blocked one of his shots in the final minute, and James also missed a jumper with the Lakers clinging to a one-point lead.
James finished with 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds in his return after sitting out a game, but the Knicks spoiled it with a closing 13-1 burst.
Emmanuel Mudiay had 28 points and eight assists for the Knicks, who snapped an eight-game losing streak. His two free throws with 22 seconds remaining were the final points of the game.
Kyle Kuzma added 18 points for the Lakers, who have lost three straight and eight of nine.
CLIPPERS 119, NETS 116
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lou Williams hit the game-winning 3-pointer from the top of the key at the final buzzer to give the Clippers a victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Los Angeles led 116-106 with 1:02 remaining, only to see Brooklyn score 10 straight points and tie it with 5.3 seconds remaining on DeMarre Carroll’s dunk. The Clippers called a timeout to set up the winning shot for Williams, who finished with 25 points.
Montrezl Harrell and Danilo Gallinari each scored 20 for the Clippers, who have won seven of their last eight. The victory was Doc Rivers’ 300th as Clippers coach, making him the seventh coach in NBA history with 300 or more regular-season wins with two or more teams.
D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 32 points, and Carroll added 22.
ROCKETS 117, TIMBERWOLVES 102
HOUSTON (AP) — Chris Paul scored 25 points, tied a career high with six 3-pointers and had 10 assists, and the Rockets used a big third quarter to pull away and get a win over Minnesota.
The game was close throughout the first half and the Rockets were up by a point at halftime before using a 43-point third quarter, with from Paul, to extend the lead to 15 to start the fourth.
Houston had a 14-point lead with about nine minutes left before using a 10-2 run, with five points from Clint Capela, to make it 106-84 with 5 1/2 minutes to go.
James Harden added 20 points and 10 assists despite dealing with a strained neck after a fall in Friday’s win over the Suns, and Capela scored 20 with 13 rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have dropped their last three.
HEAT 93, HORNETS 75
MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 19 points off the bench, Dwyane Wade added 17 and came up with big plays late and the Heat found just enough offense to beat the Charlotte Hornets in a game with major Eastern Conference playoff implications.
The win kept Miami (33-36) at the No. 8 spot in the East race — and moved the Heat two games up on No. 10 Charlotte (31-38), with 13 games left for both clubs.
The 168 combined points was the lowest in the NBA this season. Orlando and Chicago combined for 170 on Dec. 21. Charlotte’s 75 points were a season low and tied the third-worst total in the NBA this season.
Bam Adebayo finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for Miami. Dion Waiters added 12 for the Heat.
Jeremy Lamb led Charlotte with 21 points.
PISTONS 110, RAPTORS 107
DETROIT (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 25 points, Andre Drummond had 15 points and 17 rebounds and the Pistons beat the Toronto Raptors to complete a three-game season series sweep.
Reggie Jackson added 20 points to help the Pistons win for the 14th time in their last 18 games.
Kawhi Leonard had 33 points for Toronto, and Fred VanVleet added 17 points. The Raptors have lost four of seven games.
KINGS 129, BULLS 102
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Marvin Bagley III had 21 points and nine rebounds, Buddy Hield added 16 points and inched closer to Sacramento’s single-season record for 3-pointers, and the Kings beat the Chicago Bulls.
Harrison Barnes scored 15 points, De’Aaron Fox had 17 and Harry Giles added 16 to help Sacramento complete a second straight season sweep of Chicago. The Kings dominated in nearly every statistical category and outscored the Bulls 80-56 in the paint.
Zach LaVine had 18 points for the struggling Bulls (19-52). Chicago has lost five straight.
MAGIC 101, HAWKS 91
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Magic past the Atlanta Hawks.
Aaron Gordon added 22 points and eight rebounds for the Magic, who remained a game behind Miami in the chase for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Wes Iwundu helped Orlando overcome 38.8 percent shooting with a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 20 points.
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