George Powers Thunder Past Bucks, Earns Giannis’ Praise

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first_imgOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George delivered once again for Oklahoma City.Even Giannis Antetokounmpo was impressedGeorge had 36 points and 13 rebounds, and the Thunder beat Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks 118-112 on Sunday for their fifth straight victory.George, an All-Star starter, scored seven points in the final 1:15 to help the Thunder hold off the team with the NBA’s best record. As he stood at the free-throw line late in the game, the M-V-P chants that had been reserved for Russell Westbrook in recent years rained down on George.“He was doing everything,” said Antetokounmpo, another All-Star starter. “Making 3s, mid-range, dunking, floaters. It was a little of everything. He was playing amazing. Down the stretch, you know where the ball’s going to go. It’s going to go to Paul George, and he closed the game out for them and he played the right way.”Westbrook had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his 16th triple-double of the season and No. 120 for his career. Jerami Grant scored 16 points and Terrance Ferguson added 15 for the Thunder.Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 18 rebounds for Milwaukee, and Khris Middleton added 22 points.Eric Bledsoe hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to three, but George drained a 3-pointer in Malcolm Brogdon’s face at the end of the shot clock to push the margin back up to six.“I’ve got a smaller guy on me,” George said. “Just shoot over the top. Just took advantage of that.”George scored 21 points in the first half to help the Thunder take a 56-42 lead. Antetokounmpo missed all six of his shots before the break and scored just three points.“Giannis had some good looks he normally makes, he didn’t make, but then I think individually they were good on him,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Jerami Grant and then a few other guys take the challenge individually. A lot of help. Guys are swarming him, so credit to them.”Steven Adams, Oklahoma City’s lumbering 7-foot center, got the crowd amped up with a surprise early in the third quarter. He got a steal, dribbled three quarters of the way down the court and converted a layup to give the Thunder a 64-52 lead.The Thunder led 82-66 before the Bucks hit three straight 3-pointers, including two from Middleton. Oklahoma City held on to lead 89-79 at the end of the third quarter.ROCKETS 103, MAGIC 98HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 40 points, and Houston rallied for the win in Chris Paul’s return from a hamstring injury.Houston trailed by as many as 16. The game was tied with about 75 seconds left when a 3-pointer by Harden put the Rockets up 98-95. Terrence Ross missed a 3 on the other end and Harden added a step-back jumper with 30 seconds left.Harden got his third block when he swatted away a shot by Evan Fournier, and Paul added two free throws with 13.6 seconds remaining to secure Houston’s third straight victory. Paul had 12 points and six assists after missing the previous 17 games with a strained left hamstring.Aaron Gordon had 23 points for the Magic, who have dropped six of seven.RAPTORS 123, MAVERICKS 120DALLAS (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points to help Toronto overcome a triple-double from Dallas rookie Luka Doncic.Pascal Siakam’s three-point play snapped a 108-108 tie with 3:56 remaining as the Raptors recovered from a seven-point deficit early in the fourth quarter.Doncic, who turns 20 on Feb. 28, had 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to become the first teenager in NBA history with two triple-doubles.Kyle Lowry scored 19 points for Toronto and Siakam had 14.JAZZ 125, TIMBERWOLVES 111MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Donovan Mitchell had 29 points for surging Utah, and Ricky Rubio added 18 points and eight assists.After going 2 of 12 in the first half, Mitchell scored 13 points in the third quarter to help hold off a Minnesota rally and give the Jazz their ninth win in 10 games. Utah shot 71 percent (27 of 38) during the second half for its second victory in three nights over the Timberwolves.Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 35 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns added 22. Jerryd Bayless had a season-high 19.Rudy Gobert had 17 points for Utah.SPURS 132, WIZARDS 119SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists, powering San Antonio to the victory.The Spurs were without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, but had seven players in double figures. Reserve Davis Bertans had a season-high 21 points after missing the previous two games due to personal reasons. Derrick White and Bryn Forbes added 16 points each.Washington, which had won five of seven, lost its 19th straight in San Antonio. Bradley Beal and Tomas Satoransky each scored 21 points.CLIPPERS 122, KINGS 108LOS ANGELES (AP) — Montrezl Harrell scored 25 points, and the Clippers earned their third consecutive win.Tobias Harris added 18 points for Los Angeles, which was coming off a 3-1 road trip. Lou Williams had 12 points and 10 assists.The Clippers had 35 assists on 42 field goals.De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 21 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 19 points, and Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 rebounds.HEAT 106, KNICKS 97NEW YORK (AP) — Wayne Ellington scored each of his 19 points in the second half, and the Heat handed the Knicks their ninth straight loss.Miami had seven players score in double figures in its second straight win. Dwyane Wade had 15 points and 10 assists, and Hassan Whiteside finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds.Wade, who plans to retire at the end of the season, received a standing ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd when he was taken out in the final seconds.Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points for New York, and Trey Burke had 16.Former Knicks star Carmelo Anthony watched from a courtside seat and waved to the cheering crowd when he was acknowledged on the scoreboard in the first quarter.CAVALIERS 104, BULLS 101CHICAGO (AP) — Jordan Clarkson and Alec Burks each scored 18 points, and the Cavaliers ended a six-game losing streak.NBA-worst Cleveland (10-41) had dropped 18 of 19. Cedi Osman scored 17 points, and Matthew Dellavedova finished with 16.Lauri Markkanen led Chicago with 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Zach LaVine had 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulls (11-39) have lost three straight and 13 of 14.Rodney Hood had a follow basket with 17 seconds left to put Cleveland up 102-101. After a Chicago miss, Dellavedova hit a pair of free throws. LaVine missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.LAKERS 116, SUNS 102LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ivica Zubac and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each scored 24 points and the short-handed Lakers led throughout in a victory over the Phoenix Suns.Brandon Ingram added 22 points as Los Angeles was missing Kyle Kuzma (hip) and Tyson Chandler (rest), along with LeBron James and Lonzo Ball. Still, the Lakers dominated the inside against a small Phoenix lineup as it had a 70-46 advantage in points in the paint.Devin Booker scored 21 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 and Mikal Bridges 16 for Phoenix, which has dropped eight straight for its second-longest losing streak of the season. The Suns dropped 10 in a row from Nov. 25 to Dec. 11.Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle.___TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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