MILWAUKEE (REUTERS) – Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his 27th birthday by scoring 15 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks held on for a 112-104 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday (Dec 6).
Khris Middleton added 21 points and eight assists for Milwaukee, who have won 10 of their last 11 National Basketball Association games. Jrue Holiday had 20 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, while Pat Connaughton added 12 points off the bench.
Antetokounmpo returned after missing two games with a right calf injury and grabbed 12 rebounds in 27 minutes. Bobby Portis had 10 points and tied his career high with 16 rebounds.
Jarrett Allen had 25 points and nine rebounds to lead Cleveland. Lauri Markkanen tallied 20 points and seven rebounds, Kevin Love scored 15 points.
Evan Mobley had 12, and Darius finished with 10 points and nine assists.
Milwaukee recorded their eighth straight win in the series while limiting the Cavaliers to 38.9 per cent shooting from the field and 15 of 46 (32.6 per cent) from three-point range. Cleveland lost their second straight following a four-game winning streak.
In Chicago, Zach LaVine scored a game-high 32 points to lead five players in double figures as the short-handed Bulls made it four wins in their last five games, stopping the Denver Nuggets 109-97.
LaVine canned 13 of 23 field-goal attempts and dished out eight assists as the Bulls made up for the absence of Demar DeRozan, who before the game was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols scheme. DeRozan is fourth in the league in scoring at 26.4 points per game.
But Chicago did not need him on this night as it got others to pick up the slack. Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball each added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Derrick Jones tallied 12 points and rookie Ayo Dosunmu hit for 11 in his first NBA start.
In Minnesota, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot made seven of Atlanta’s franchise-record 25 three-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points to help the visiting Hawks to a 121-110 win over the Timberwolves.
In Miami, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks each scored 21 points as the Memphis Grizzlies won their fifth straight game – all of them without ever trailing – beating the Heat 105-90.