Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after dunking during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Milwaukee . (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
MILWAUKEE — Khris Middleton scored a season-high 44 points, Jrue Holiday had 17 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied to beat the short-handed Phoenix Suns 132-122 on Sunday.
Milwaukee outscored Phoenix 12-1 over the last three minutes to win in the Suns’ first visit since Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points in a 105-98 Game 6 victory gave the Bucks their first NBA title in 50 years. In their only previous matchup this season, the Suns won 131-107 in Phoenix on Feb. 10.
The NBA-leading Suns were playing without their usual All-Star starting backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Booker missed his third straight game due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Paul broke his right thumb Feb. 16.
Phoenix also was missing Cam Johnson, two days after he scored 38 points in a 115-114 victory over the New York Knicks. Johnson has a bruised right quadriceps.
The Bucks won their fourth straight as they completed arguably their toughest three-game stretch of the season. In each of those three games, they came from behind down the stretch.
Antetokounmpo had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes before fouling out with 1:12 left. Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 30 points. Cam Payne had 23.
CELTICS 126, NETS 120
BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 54 points — 34 of them in the second half — and Boston overcame a rare appearance of both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn’s lineup.
Durant played in his second game since mid-January and scored 37 to become the 23rd player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points. Irving joined him for just the fourth time all season, scoring 19 in his first game in three weeks and his first in Boston since he was pelted with a water bottle during the playoffs.
Jaylen Brown scored 21 points for Boston. He was cleared to return after testing his sprained ankle pregame.
ROCKETS 123, GRIZZLIES 112
HOUSTON (AP) — Kevin Porter Jr. scored 29 points, Christian Wood added 28 points and 13 rebounds and Houston beat Memphis to end a 12-game losing streak.
Porter scored 19 of his 22 second-half points in the third quarter to help Houston overcome a 10-point halftime deficit. Wood has scored at least 20 points in three games.
Jalen Green added 24 points and eight rebounds, and Eric Gordon had 12 points in the Rockets’ first victory since beating Cleveland on Feb. 2.
Desmond Bane scored 28 points, and Ja Morant added 22 points and six assists for Memphis, coming off a home victory Saturday night over Orlando. Steven Adams had season-high 23 points and finished with 12 rebounds.
NUGGETS 138, PELICANS 130, OT
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 30 of his 46 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and Denver rallied after squandering an early 21-point lead to beat New Orleans.
Jokic hit two free throws to tie it with 3.2 second remaining in regulation and then sealed it in OT with a 3-pointer with 1:30 left. His big night led to an improbable win in which coach Michael Malone was ejected late in the third quarter, the team completely unraveling and then regrouping down the stretch.
Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP also had 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his league-leading 17th triple-double of the season.
Brandon Ingram had 38 points for New Orleans. The Pelicans had won four in a row.
WIZARDS 133, PACERS 123
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points in his first game for Washington to help the Wizards beat Indiana.
Porzingis returned from a right knee bone bruise and played for the first time since the Wizards acquired him from Dallas in a trade last month. It was his first game overall since Jan. 29.
Kyle Kuzma added 23 points for the Wizards. Malcolm Brogdon scored 27 points Indiana.
JAZZ 116, THUNDER 103
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —Bojan Bogdanovic made a franchise-record 11 3-pointers and scored 35 points to help Utah beat Oklahoma City.
Bogdanovic attemped 18 3-pointers. Donovan Mitchell had 24 points and 10 assists, and Jordan Clarkson added 20 points for the Jazz.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Oklahoma City.
CAVALIERS 104, RAPTORS 96
CLEVELAND (AP) —Rookie Evan Mobley had 20 points and 17 rebounds, Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points and Cleveland widened its lead over Toronto in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavs won for just the second time in eight games.
Pascal Siakam scored 24 points for Toronto.
KNICKS 116, CLIPPERS 93
LOS ANGELES (AP) — RJ Barrett had 24 points and nine rebounds and the Knicks dominated the Los Angeles Clippers in a victory that snapped New York’s seven-game losing skid.
Immanuel Quickley added 21 points and Cam Reddish had 15 of his 17 points in the fourth for the Knicks, who used big scoring runs to open the second and fourth quarters of a game in which they led by 32 points.
Amir Coffey scored 16 points off the bench to lead the Clippers, whose five-game winning streak ended at the hands of one of the East’s worst teams.
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
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