LOS ANGELES, USA – The Milwaukee Bucks turned the tables on Eastern Conference leaders Toronto on Friday, February 24, winning 122-119 in overtime to snap the Raptors' 7-game NBA winning streak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Bucks.
Giannis' 26 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST and clutch plays propel the @Bucks to the overtime win in Toronto! #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/ii7EnfYvFj — NBA (@NBA) February 24, 2018
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas slammed down a dunk at the buzzer in regulation to send the game to overtime.
But the Bucks, with 21 points apiece from Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton, emerged with the victory over a Raptors team that had won 15 of their 17 prior encounters.
"You've got to understand, this team sent us home last year," Bucks guard Jason Terry said in a halftime television interview. "This game is personal. This is a pride thing."
Toronto and Milwaukee also went to overtime on January 1, when DeMar DeRozan set a Toronto franchise record with 52 points in the Raptors' 131-127 victory.
It looked like they would pull it off again when Toronto scored the first five points of overtime, but successive three-pointers by Terry and Middleton capped an 8-0 Bucks scoring run that gave Milwaukee a 118-115 lead with 1:58 remaining and they wouldn't fall behind again.
The Raptors suffered their first home defeat since falling January 26 to Utah. But they remained one game ahead of the Boston Celtics atop the East.
The Celtics returned from the All-Star break with a 110-98 victory over the Pistons in Detroit.
The @celtics knock down 11 first-half threes in their win over the Pistons! pic.twitter.com/VMpWfRmduU — NBA TV (@NBATV) February 24, 2018
The Celtics were hurting heading into the break, losing 3 straight and 4 of 5 to fall two games behind the Raptors for the Eastern Conference lead.
It appeared the break, and the return of guard Marcus Smart, who missed 11 games after cutting his hand punching a glass picture frame, were just what the Celtics needed.
Leading 77-73 with 2:47 left in the third quarter, Boston mounted a 22-6 scoring run to seize control, limiting the Pistons to 3 field goals in the span.
Western Conference leaders Houston notched their 11th straight victory as James Harden scored 31 points in a 120-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The @HoustonRockets roll to their 11th straight win, topping the @Timberwolves 120-102 at home! Harden: 31 PTS, 9 AST Capela: 25 PTS, 11 REB Chris Paul: 14 PTS, 10 REB, 8 AST #Rockets pic.twitter.com/M5aIqgjcCW — NBA (@NBA) February 24, 2018
The defeat was even more bitter for the Timberwolves, who lost All-Star Jimmy Butler to an apparent right knee injury late in the third quarter.
Butler had seized a rebound, turned and planted his right foot when he fell to the court, clutching his right knee. He was carried from the court by two teammates.
The Rockets were up 79-68 at the time, and stretched their lead to as many as 17 points.
Minnesota would whittle the deficit to 9 in the 4th period, but with 3 minutes remaining the Rockets had pushed the advantage back to 15.
In New Orleans, the Pelicans edged the Miami Heat 124-123 in an overtime thriller.
Anthony Davis scored 9 of his 45 points in the extra period and guard Jrue Holiday produced the game-winning jump shot with 7.3 seconds left as the Pelicans dealt the Heat their 8th defeat in 9 games. – Rappler.com