Antetokounmpo dominant as Bucks stretch win streak

LOS ANGELES, USA – Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 41 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks notched another dominant NBA victory, a 93-85 triumph over the Hornets in Charlotte.

The Bucks pushed their league-leading record to 52-8 with their sixth straight win since the All-Star break on Sunday, March 1 (Monday, March 2, Manila time).

Antetokounmpo said that was all that mattered as the teams' streak of 100-point regular-season games ended at 83.

"I don't think anybody cares about that," he said of the triple-digit scoring streak that stretched back to February 23, 2019. "We as players just come in here and try to get a win."

In this "old-school" victory, the Bucks never trailed in the second half, although their 15 turnovers in the first 3 quarters helped the Hornets keep it close and Charlotte trailed by just 2 points entering the final quarter.

Antetokounmpo seized control in the waning minutes, putting the Bucks up 88-83 with a turnaround jump shot.

He then pulled down an offensive rebound, drew a foul, made two free throws, drove for another layup, and added another free throw as he scored the Bucks' last 7 points to seal the game.

Antetokounmpo, who handed out 6 assists, became the first Bucks player with a 40-20-5 stat line since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974.

Remarkably, Antetokounmpo amassed the numbers in just 35 minutes on the court.

Brook Lopez added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks – and enjoyed watching another outstanding all-around performance from Antetokounmpo, epitomized by his late jumper over the outstretched arms of Hornets' Miles Bridges.

"He puts the work in every single day," Lopez said. "It's great to see him go into the game, make those moves, shoot those shots with confidence." 

Clippers rally

 The Los Angeles Clippers, locked in battle with the Denver Nuggets for the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference, rallied in the 3rd quarter for a 111-91 victory over the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia got off to a hot start despite the injury absences of stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, leading by as many as 14 points on the way to a 39-34 first-quarter lead.

The 76ers were up by 2 points at halftime, and it was knotted at 89-89 with 4:39 left in the 3rd when the Clippers produced an 18-5 scoring run to take control.

Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points and Paul George added 24 as the Clippers notched their fourth straight win.

First-year guard Shake Milton led Philadelphia with 39 points, including 7 three-pointers.

But with Simmons nursing a back injury and Embiid sidelined by a shoulder injury, the Sixers suffered another blow when guard Josh Richardson clashed heads with a teammate in the 2nd quarter and exited the game.

Richardson suffered a bruised nose and is being checked for a possible concussion, the 76ers said.

The absence of Slovenian star Luka Doncic, who is nursing a sprained left thumb, did not slow the Dallas Mavericks in a 111-91 victory over the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 38 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for Dallas and Seth Curry added 27 points on an 11-for-17 shooting. –