HOUSTON — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and a season-high 21 rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks withstand a 42-point performance from James Harden and beat the Houston Rockets 116-109 on Wednesday night.
In a matchup of the two front-runners for MVP, Harden and his teammates were done in by a shooting slump late in the third quarter that spilled into the fourth and left them down by 15 points.
Milwaukee held a 13-point lead with about five minutes left before Houston used a 8-0 run, started by two 3-pointers from Harden, to cut it to 107-102. The Bucks got a layup from Eric Bledsoe before Harden scored the next four points to get Houston to 109-106 with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws to push Milwaukee’s lead to four points with about 90 seconds left. Harden missed his third straight 3-pointer before Antetokounmpo added a layup on the other end to make it 112-106 with 40 seconds remaining.
Harden missed another 3 seconds later and the Bucks added four free throws down the stretch to secure the their seventh victory in eight games.
It was Harden’s sixth 40-point outing in the last eight games and he has scored 30 or more points in 14 straight games, which is the longest streak since Tracy McGrady did it in 2003.
NETS 115, HAWKS 100
NEW YORK — D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points, Ed Davis grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds, and Brooklyn climbed out of an early 19-point hole to beat Atlanta.
DeMarre Carroll added 17 points to help the Nets improve to 21-22 with their eighth victory in their last nine home games. They managed only 20 wins for the entire season just two years ago, but have engineered a big turnaround after a slow start to this season. On Wednesday, they did the same thing in the game.
WIZARDS 123, 76ERS 106
WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 34 to help Washington beat Philadelphia for a split of the home-and-home set.
After Washington’s 26-point third-quarter lead was cut to 12 in the fourth, Beal outscored Philadelphia 14-5 to make it 116-95 with 4:22 left. Beal was 6 of 11 from 3-point range and 13 of 21 overall from the field.
CELTICS 135, PACERS 108
BOSTON — Marcus Morris had 22 points and eight rebounds, Jayson Tatum had 20 points and Boston routed Indiana.
Kyrie Irving had 12 points before sitting out the fourth quarter, and the Celtics put together their highest-scoring game this season to get their fourth straight win.
PELICANS 140, CAVALIERS 124
NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 38 points and 13 rebounds and New Orleans overcame a slow start to pull away from Cleveland for its third straight victory.
Cleveland has lost 11 in a row.
GRIZZLIES 96, SPURS 86
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Marc Gasol had 26 points and 14 rebounds and Memphis Grizzlies snapped a six-game slide, beating San Antonio.
Mike Conley had 15 points and six assists for Memphis, and Jaren Jackson Jr. and JaMychal Green scored 12 points each.
MAVERICKS 104, SUNS 94
DALLAS — Luka Doncic scored 30 points and Dallas ended a seven-game losing streak against Phoenix.
The 19-year-old rookie put the Mavericks ahead for good with a 3-pointer early in the second half before getting one of his five assists on a jump-pass from nearly half court out of a double team to DeAndre Jordan for a dunk as Dallas built its lead to nine going to the fourth quarter.
JAZZ 106, MAGIC 93
SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and seven assists and Utah rallied to beat Orlando.
Joe Ingles added 16 points and seven assists, and Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 14 rebounds. Utah improved to 21-21, winning for the third time in four games.
LAKERS 113, PISTONS 100
LOS ANGELES — Kyle Kuzma scored a career-high 41 points and the Lakers beat the Pistons to improve to 3-5 without injured LeBron James.
Kuzma had 22 points in the third quarter, hitting four 3-pointers to get the crowd on its feet and scoring on consecutive goaltending calls. He left with 1:07 to play and put a wrap around his midsection with a pack stuffed in the back.