NBA regular season

No Giannis, no problem: Damian Lillard drops 41 in Bucks’ outgunning of Clippers


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No Giannis, no problem: Damian Lillard drops 41 in Bucks’ outgunning of Clippers

DAME TIME. Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) drives for the basket against Los Angeles Clippers forward Amir Coffey (7) in the third quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Damian Lillard leads the Milwaukee Bucks past fellow contender Los Angeles Clippers without former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and ex-All-Star Khris Middleton

Damian Lillard scored a game-high 41 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 113-106 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Monday (Tuesday, March 5, Manila time).

Bobby Portis added 28 points and 16 rebounds off the bench for the Bucks, who won their sixth straight game. Patrick Beverley tallied 12 points and nine rebounds against his former team for Milwaukee.

James Harden and Paul George led Los Angeles with 29 points apiece, while Kawhi Leonard added 16. Ivica Zubac collected a team-high 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who had their modest two-game winning streak snapped.

Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game with a left Achilles injury.

After holding a seven-point halftime lead, the Clippers doubled it with a 13-6 run to start the second half, stamped with Leonard’s triple with 8:23 left in the third quarter that gave Los Angeles a 68-54 advantage.

Later in the third quarter, Daniel Theis’ layup gave the Clippers an 81-68 lead with 40.9 seconds left before a pair of Lillard free throws and Malik Beasley’s triple cut Milwaukee’s deficit to 81-73 entering the fourth quarter.

The final period, however, was all Milwaukee. Trailing by six with 5:33 left, the Bucks used a 15-0 run to take control, grabbing a 105-96 lead with 1:58 remaining. Four straight Clippers points cut the deficit to five, but back-to-back buckets from Portis helped cement the Milwaukee rally.

In the first quarter, the Clippers jumped out to a 27-23 advantage before back-to-back triples from Theis and Bones Hyland extended Los Angeles’ lead to 10 points at the 1:09 mark of the period.

Hyland’s buzzer-beating layup gave the Clippers a 35-25 lead heading into the second.

Following a back-and-forth start to the second quarter, Los Angeles took a 50-41 lead with 4:12 remaining in the first half. But a 7-0 Bucks run trimmed the Clippers’ lead to two with 3:05 left.

However, the Clippers scored the final five points of the quarter, capped by Leonard’s free throw after a Lillard technical foul, to take a 55-48 lead into the break.

George led the Clippers with 15 points in the first half, while Lillard paced the Bucks with 19.

The two teams meet again on Sunday in Los Angeles. –

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