GR US

Bucks Top Bulls as "Greek Freak" Gets 23 in Return from Sore Back

Αssociated Press

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles away from Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24), center Wendell Carter Jr. (34) and guard Tomas Satoransky (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

CHICAGO (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points and 10 rebounds after missing two games with a sore back, and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away in the second half for a 123-102 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Antetokounmpo, the NBA's second-leading scorer with an average of 30.5 points per game entering this one, played only 27 minutes and sat out the final 5 1/2 because of the lopsided score. He was 8 for 14 from the field with six assists.

Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks and Eric Bledsoe had 15 points in 16 minutes after missing the previous eight games with a fractured right leg. Milwaukee improved to a league-best 30-5.

Zach LaVine scored 19 points for the Bulls but shot just 7 for 23 from the field.

WIZARDS 123, HEAT 105

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jordan McRae scored a season-high 29 points, Garrison Mathews had a career-high 28 and Ian Mahinmi added a career-best 25 as the depleted Washington Wizards beat Miami.

With the Wizards (10-22) minus All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal and five other key members of their rotation, they got huge contributions from an unexpected trio. McRae, a third-year player, Mathews, in his 11th NBA game, and Mahinmi, a 13-year veteran, enjoyed nights to remember against Miami (24-9), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. The Heat entered with the second-best record in the East and lost for just the third time in 20 games against conference opponents.

Jimmy Butler led Miami with 27 points. Bam Adebayo had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

SUNS 122, TRAIL BLAZERS 116

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Devin Booker scored 33 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. had 29 and Phoenix rallied past Portland.

After trailing by 19, the Suns roared back to win their second consecutive game and hand the Trail Blazers their fourth straight defeat.

A 3-pointer by Oubre gave Phoenix a 120-114 lead with 43.8 seconds left. After the shot, Oubre blew kisses to the Blazers crowd.

Ricky Rubio added 18 points and 13 assists for the Suns.

Damian Lillard had 33 points and CJ McCollum scored 25 for Portland. Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 22 rebounds.

JAZZ 104, PISTONS 81

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and Jordan Clarkson added 20 to lead Utah over Detroit.

Rudy Gobert added 13 points and 19 rebounds for the surging Jazz, and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 17. Utah won for the eighth time in nine games.

Derrick Rose had 20 points to lead the Pistons, and Andre Drummond added 15 points and 13 rebounds. Detroit has dropped seven straight against Utah.

TIMBERWOLVES 122, NETS 115, OT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shabazz Napier scored a season-high 24 points, Jarrett Culver added 21 and the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves rallied past Brooklyn in overtime.

The Timberwolves had lost 12 of 13 and were again without injured Karl-Anthony Towns and ill Andrew Wiggins. Gorgui Dieng started in Towns' place and had 11 points and 20 rebounds. It was Minnesota's first home win since Nov. 13.

Keita Bates-Diop added 15 points off the bench.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 36 to lead the Nets, who have lost three straight.

HAWKS 101, MAGIC 93

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Goodwin scored 21 points, Kevin Huerter added 19 and Atlanta topped Orlando to end a 10-game skid.

Playing without injured guard Trae Young (ankle) for the second straight game, the Hawks trailed by 18 during the first half but rallied in the third quarter. Alex Len scored eight of his 18 points to fuel a 15-4 run, while Atlanta’s defense yielded only six field goals in the period. Len’s drive and dunk just before the horn gave the Hawks a 74-72 lead, and they pulled away near the midpoint of the fourth with an 11-0 run.

Atlanta had been on its second 10-game losing streak of the season. This one ended with the Hawks' second win in two tries against Orlando.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 27 points.

—-