Monday 18 November, 2019

NBA wrap: Bucks hold off Clippers, Harden leads Rockets past Warriors

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles past Los Angeles Clippers' Maurice Harkless during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez).

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles past Los Angeles Clippers' Maurice Harkless during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez).

The numbers are adding up quickly for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The reigning NBA MVP had 38 points and 16 rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 129-124 on Wednesday night for their fourth victory in a row.

It's what he's done to start the season that really stands out.

Antetokounmpo became the first player in league history with 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists in the first eight games of a season.

"He played the whole fourth quarter and was fabulous," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Antetokounmpo had 13 points in 12 minutes during the fourth as Milwaukee repelled several threats by the Clippers, who kept getting within four only to come up short.

"Guys were physical with me but at the end of the day you've just got to keep doing what you're doing," Antetokounmpo said. "I was trying to make plays, try to stay aggressive. That's what my teammates wanted me to do."

Antetokounmpo just missed a triple-double with nine assists. He's posted at least 10 rebounds and five assists in each of the first eight games this season, the first player to do that since at least 1972-73.

"He's a beast," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

George Hill scored 24 points off the bench and hit six of the Bucks' 18 3-pointers.

The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard, who rested for the first half of a home back-to-back. He'll play against Portland on Thursday night.

"When he sits out we've just got to step up," said Lou Williams, who had 34 points and 11 assists.

Montrezl Harrell had a career-high 34 points and 13 rebounds in his first start of the season.

"It don't mean nothing," he said in a low voice. "We lost."

Patrick Beverley added 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Clippers' first home defeat.

Led by Hill and Kyle Korver with 14 points, the Bucks' reserves outscored the Clippers' bench 47-20, the first time that's happened to Los Angeles this season. Harrell and Williams being in the starting lineup reduced much of the bench production.

Los Angeles starter Landry Shamet had just two points coming into the fourth, but made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. The last one put the Clippers within two with 23 seconds left.

"If we came up with one or two more stops, the game might have been different," Harrell said.

The Bucks finished it off at the free-throw line, and the Clippers couldn't connect on multiple chances during their last possession.

"They had us on our heels the whole game," Williams said. "We just weren't as sharp as we'd like to be."

The Clippers closed within four early in the fourth, but Antetokounmpo reeled off seven straight points to keep the Bucks ahead 115-103.

"I just know he's always around the rim," former Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe said of Antetokounmpo. "Even though it's a bad play or whatnot, he's going to be under the rim, so I just find a way to get it to him."

Bledsoe added 20 points, and Brook Lopez had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks.

The Clippers erased an 11-point deficit in the third. They forced three ties, but each time Antetokounmpo answered for the Bucks. He dunked, hit a 3-pointer and made two free throws.

Milwaukee outscored the Clippers 15-6 to take a 98-89 lead into the fourth.

The Bucks opened the second on a 30-11 run, hitting five 3-pointers, for their largest lead of 17 points. Hill scored 14 to help the Bucks lead 70-59 at halftime. They closed with three consecutive 3s, two by Hill and the last by Korver, who beat the buzzer.

Over at the Toyota Center, James Harden guided the Houston Rockets past the struggling Golden State Warriors.

Harden scored 36 points and provided 13 assists in the Rockets' 129-112 victory over the Warriors.

Houston improved to 5-3 to begin the season, while the injury-hit Warriors slipped to 2-6.

Pascal Siakam had a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 124-120 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Luka Doncic continued his impressive start to the season, his 27-point haul seeing the Dallas Mavericks edge the Orlando Magic 107-106.

The Detroit Pistons breezed past the struggling New York Knicks 122-102 thanks to 27 points and 12 rebounds from Andre Drummond.

The 10th pick in the NBA Draft, Cam Reddish struggled for the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. The 20-year-old went one-for-eight for five points in 23 minutes of a 113-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Wednesday's results

Detroit Pistons 122-102 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 121-106 Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls 113-93 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 124-120 Sacramento Kings
Houston Rockets 129-112 Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies 137-121 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks 107-106 Orlando Magic
Utah Jazz 106-104 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 129-124 Los Angeles Clippers

Trail Blazers at Clippers

The Clippers (5-3) get a chance to bounce back when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers (3-4) at the Staples Center.

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