Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Giannis leads Bucks past Rockets

Giannis leads Bucks past Rockets

Milwaukee's NBA Most Valuable Player contender Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points to lead the Bucks to a hard-fought 116-109 victory on Wednesday over reigning MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

"I definitely think it's our belief inside this locker room, and a lot just around the league, that we have the best player in the league right here", Bucks center Brook Lopez said. The lead would grow to five when Rivers started the second quarter with a pair of free throws, but Brogdon's layup with 8:34 left before halftime tied the game, though, the Rockets scored the next seven points and would lead by as many as 10.

Harden finished with 42 points and 11 rebounds.

Anthony Davis put up 38 points and 13 rebounds as the Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 140-124.

It was just the second 20-plus rebound game of Antetokounmpo's career, with the first coming almost a full year ago, on January 15 of last season.

"To be honest with you, all I care about right now is getting better, helping my team win", Antetokounmpo said. "We couldn't get to where we want to go because we couldn't get any stops".

Gerald Green has also taken on a larger workload and upped his scoring as of late, while Clint Capela has posted a few monster stat lines. It opened up an opportunity for Antetokounmpo to seal the deal by going on a personal 5-0 run. Harden fell slowly to the court after he was hit but got up quickly and seemed to be OK.

Antetokounmpo was apologetic during his postgame media availability, saying he had no intention of hitting Harden. "It was an accident, but I'm so happy it bounced back to me".

In-form Luka Doncic recorded 30 points as the Dallas Mavericks overcame the Phoenix Suns 104-94, while in Memphis, the Grizzlies stopped a six-game losing streak thanks to 26 points from Marc Gasol in their 96-86 win over the San Antonio Spurs. "That s- hurt. I didn't even know what happened".

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