Giannis bounces back as Bucks whip Trail Blazers
LOS ANGELES, USA – Giannis Antetokounmpo rebounded from his season-worst performance to tally 32 points and 17 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Portland Trail Blazers, 122-101, in the NBA on Saturday, January 11 (Sunday, January 12, Philippine time).
Milwaukee, who are on pace to win 70 games, won for the eighth time in the last 9 games to improve to 35-6 on the season.
Khris Middleton added 30 points and Eric Bledsoe scored 29 for the Bucks, who are hoping to surpass the franchise-best 66-16 mark set by the 1970-1971 squad led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Antetokounmpo's double-double on Saturday came one night after he scored a season-low 13 points in a win over the Sacramento Kings.
The best from The Greek Freak:— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 12, 2020
32 PTS | 17 REB | 6 AST | 56% FG pic.twitter.com/N3H6pWUvM4
Damian Lillard scored 26 points and CJ McCollum added 20 as the Trail Blazers lost for the eighth time in 10 games.
Carmelo Anthony registered 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Kent Bazemore added 10 points.
Portland played without Hassan Whiteside, who missed the contest with the flu.
Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to score 10 points for Milwaukee, who made 14 of 38 attempts from beyond the arc.
Harden hits milestone
Elsewhere, James Harden paced the Houston attack with a deft shooting touch, finishing with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists as the Rockets routed the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves, 139-109.
Harden also nailed a stepback three-pointer with 6:30 left in the 2nd quarter to record his 20,000th career point, becoming the 45th player in NBA history to reach the milestone.
"It's a great accomplishment obviously," he said. "I have a bigger picture and bigger goals, but it's pretty cool."
Harden recorded 11 turnovers but the Rockets were able to more than makeup for his ball-handling missteps. (LOOK: Harden records 11 first half turnovers in 20K-point night)
He and Russell Westbrook – who posted 30 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists – went a combined 19-of-23 from the free throw line for the Rockets, who have won 21 of their past 25 meetings with the Timberwolves.
Harden entered the game 10 points away from the milestone and reached it in fitting fashion, on a three-pointer.
Westbrook said he has a lot of respect for Harden.
"To be able to do that on a very, very high level is something we don't take for granted," Westbrook said. "Growing up in L.A. and being able to see him progress over the years to me is just a blessing to see as his friend and I'm truly happy for him."
The Rockets beat Minnesota despite playing without center Clint Capela (heel) and losing forward PJ Tucker after he suffered a bruise early in the 1st quarter.
Isaiah Hartenstein, starting for Capela, also recorded a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds while adding 5 blocked shots.
Houston's Ben McLemore, who replaced Danuel House in the starting lineup, and Eric Gordon combined for 30 points.
Josh Okogie paced 7 Timberwolves in double figures with 16 points. Rookie Jarrett Culver added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Rockets shot 51.6% overall and finished 18-of-45 on three-pointers. – Rappler.com