Antetokounmpo, Bucks hold off Celtics in restart opener

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 01, 2020 11:20 AM
Antetokounmpo, Bucks hold off Celtics in restart opener
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks to pass around Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

By The Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:28 left on an overturned call that kept him in the game and helped the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 119-112 on Friday night.

Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the Bucks’ first game in the restart. Milwaukee improved the NBA’s best record to 54-12 and moved within a victory of clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the second straight year.

Boston overcame a poor start to tie it at 107. Antetokounmpo was then called for a charging foul, appearing to negate his basket and giving him a sixth foul. The call was changed to a blocking foul on Boston’s Marcus Smart after review, and Antetokounmpo made the free throw to make it 110-107.

Khris Middleton then knocked down a 3-pointer for a six-point advantage.

Middleton added 18 points for the Bucks, who played without Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton while they work on their conditioning after testing positive for the coronavirus. Marvin Williams sat out with a strained left groin.

Smart scored 23 points for the Celtics and Jaylen Brown had 22, but star forward Jayson Tatum had a nightmarish restart. He had five points on 2-for-18 shooting — though he actually only made one basket.

Kemba Walker scored 16 points but played just 19 minutes as the Celtics look to keep the All-Star guard healthy after he’s been battling a sore knee.

TRAIL BLAZERS 140, GRIZZLIES 135, OT

CJ McCollum scored 33 points, teaming with Damian Lillard for 11 of Portland’s 16 in overtime, and the Trail Blazers pulled out a desperately needed victory to resume their season by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 140-135 on Friday.

Lillard finished with 29 points and nine assists to help the Trail Blazers boost their hopes for a seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Carmelo Anthony added 21 points as Portland moved within 2 1/2 games of the Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.

McCollum started fast, scoring 19 points in the first half, and finished strong with two crucial 3-pointers in overtime. The first one to open the extra period gave Portland the lead for good, and he added six assists.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 33 points and rookie Ja Morant added 22 points and 11 assists for Memphis.

Memphis rallied from a 13-point, third-quarter deficit to take an 11-point lead, then gave it away almost as quickly. When the Grizzlies recovered to take a 112-103 lead with 6:01 left in regulation, it appeared the Grizzlies might pad their lead in the standings. Instead, Anthony’s 3 with 37.5 seconds left tied it at 124 and Morant fell on a last-second fast break, sending the game to overtime.

MAGIC 128, NETS 118

Evan Fournier scored 24 points, Nikola Vucevic had 22 and Orlando picked up where it left off before the NBA season was suspended, beating Brooklyn.

Playing as the designated road team not far from their arena, the Magic looked right at home at Disney — whose name they wear as their jersey patch. They extended their winning streak to four and moved back ahead of the Nets into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn also won its last three before the stoppage, but the decimated team that returned is a shell of the one that beat the Lakers in Los Angeles in its final game. The Nets are missing Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince after they tested positive for the coronavirus. They are already playing without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who had season-ending surgery.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 24 points for the Nets.

SPURS 129, KINGS 120

DeMar DeRozan scored 17 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help San Antonio beat Sacramento.

Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and assistant Becky Hammon stood for the national anthem while the remainder of the coaches and players for both teams knelt.

DeRozan shot 10 of 13 and had 10 assists, and the Spurs shot 53.3% from the field.

Derrick White matched a career high with 26 points in San Antonio’s first game of the restart. The Spurs needed to find offense because LaMarcus Aldridge, the team’s No. 2 scorer, had shoulder surgery in April and will not play in the restart.

De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 39 points for the Kings.

SUNS 125, WIZARDS 112

Devin Booker scored 27 points, Deandre Ayton added 24 points and 12 rebounds and Phoenix beat Washington.

Booker made all nine of his free throws and the Suns hit 30 of 32 from the line. They shot 52% from the field, with Ayton hitting two of three 3-pointers and going 11 of 14 overall.

Rui Hachimura scored 21 points and Jerome Robinson added 20 for the Wizards on coach Scott Brooks’ 55th birthday.

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