High School Basketball: Indian Trail 72 Destiny 48; Greendale 59 Wilmot 54
NBA…NEW YORK (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, then Grayson Allen made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 30 seconds left after his superstar teammate fouled out to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 109-103 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Allen made only one 3-pointer — a game after going 7 for 7 behind the arc in the first half of a victory over Dallas. But it was the only one the Bucks needed after Antetokounmpo had carried them for so long.
“Obviously, I wanted to be in the game, I wanted to finish the game, I wanted to be aggressive, I wanted to enjoy the game, but it doesn’t really matter,” Antetokounmpo said. “The team was able to get stops down the stretch and rebound down the stretch and execute the play really well, and Grayson made the big shot.”
He fouled out with a minute left and the Bucks leading by two when he tried to block Mitchell Robinson’s shot. The Bucks challenged the call, hoping Brook Lopez got the ball cleanly, but replays showed Antetokounmpo hit Robinson’s arm first.
“That makes things a little bit more difficult for us. He’s the head of our team,” Allen said. “But I think we all think we’re capable of winning with whatever five we’ve got out there.”
Robinson made one free throw and the Knicks got the rebound when he missed the second, leading to a free throw by Jalen Brunson that tied it with 47 seconds remaining.
After Allen’s 3-pointer, RJ Barrett missed a 3 for the Knicks and the Bucks closed it out from the free throw line.
Jrue Holiday had 22 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Bucks, who had long stretches where Antetokounmpo was their only offense.
“He’ll find a way to get through and find his spots and be the aggressor,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “So we needed all of it and then his teammates were able to bring him home after he was out.”
Barrett scored 26 points, Julius Randle added 18 and Brunson had 17 for the Knicks, who piled up 140 points in Detroit on Tuesday night but found things a whole lot different against the Bucks’ top-notch defense. New York shot 42% from the field and 20% from 3-point range, plus a dismal 65% from the free throw line.
“I thought we got some good shots we didn’t make,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But I liked the way we competed. I thought we did a lot of good things.”
Robinson finished with 15 points and 20 rebounds, including 11 offensive.
After a sloppy-shooting first half, when the teams combined to go 8 for 39 from 3-point range, Antetokounmpo provided some prettier play in the third quarter. The reigning Eastern Conference player of the week was 4 for 5 for nine points, including one layup where it appeared he’d driven too far under the basket on the right side after a spin move but was able to reach far enough to scoop it in from the left of the rim.
Bucks: The game began a stretch that has the Bucks playing on the road 11 times in a 15-game span. … Milwaukee beat New York for the fifth straight time. … Allen had 11 points.
Knicks: Brunson came up limping after the first possession of the game and soon after checked out and went back to the locker room. When he returned about six minutes later, the public address announcer accidentally called him “Rick” Brunson, Jalen’s father who played for the Knicks and is now an assistant to Thibodeau. … The Knicks have lost four straight home games.
Budenholzer said Khris Middleton worked out again Wednesday after the Bucks’ shootaround as he nears his return from offseason left wrist ligament surgery. The Athletic reported Wednesday that Middleton could make his debut as soon as Friday against the Lakers, but Budenholzer didn’t give any timetable.
“I think to say he’s close is accurate and I’ll just leave it at that,” Budenholzer said. “Close can mean anything.”
Bucks: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Knicks: Host Dallas on Saturday.
PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker made the Chicago Bulls pay for some mediocre defense with a couple early mid-range jumpers. Then he made a few more. And a few more.
Suddenly, it was one of those nights for the Suns All-Star guard.
“It felt like a double-sized rim out there,” Booker said. “If I rise up, it’s going in.”
Booker scored a season-high 51 points in just three quarters, Deandre Ayton had 30 points and 14 rebounds and Phoenix stretched its winning streak to six games with a 132-113 victory Wednesday night.
Booker scored 25 points in the first half and had 26 more in a sublime third quarter that included 10 of 11 shooting. After a contested 3-pointer splashed through the net, “MVP! MVP!” chants broke out across Footprint Center, and the 26-year-old is certainly making an early season case.
“It’s the best,” Booker said about the home crowd. “I don’t know how many sellout crowds that is in a row, but it’s impressive. Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. They show up and show out.”
The three-time All-Star had a steal late in the third before sprinting downcourt and flushing home a dunk for his 50th and 51st points. He added six assists and four rebounds.
“A guy like that gets in a rhythm and it’s too late,” Bulls guard Zach LaVine said. “He gets it going and it’s over.”
Booker didn’t play in the fourth quarter with the Suns holding a healthy lead.
Even more remarkable than Booker’s point total was his efficiency. He shot 20 of 25 from the field, going 6 of 7 from 3-point range. He is the second player over the last 25 years with 50 points and 80% shooting through the first three quarters of a game, joining James Harden in 2017, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
“There’s not a level where he can’t score,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “He can use both hands, he can score with a hand in his face and he’s willing to take the tough shots.”
It was Booker’s second straight 40-point game. He had 44 in a victory at Sacramento on Monday night. The Suns have the best record in the Western Conference at 15-6 and have won 12 out of 13 home games.
The Bulls struggled on defense the entire night, particularly against Booker and Ayton. Chicago coach Billy Donovan was particularly irritated in the third quarter, angrily calling a time out after Phoenix scored a couple easy buckets.
DeMar DeRozan led Chicago with 29 points. Zach LaVine added 21.
The Suns took a 64-43 lead at halftime. Booker roasted the Bulls with 25 points before the break, repeatedly finding open mid-range jump shots.
“We threw everything at him,” Donovan said. “We trapped him, we threw a box and one at him. We tried to face guard him and to his credit had had a great night.
Phoenix shot 58% in the first half. Chicago made just 1 of 14 (7.1%) of its 3-point attempts.
Bulls: Alex Caruso scored 14 points off the bench. … The Bulls shot 4 of 25 (16%) from 3-point range.
Suns: G Chris Paul missed his 11th consecutive game with right heel soreness. … It was Booker’s 21st career game with at least 40 points. … Landry Shamet added 12 points off the bench. … Hosted a 39th consecutive sellout crowd. … Ayton shot 11 of 18 from the field. … Booker’s 51 points were the most ever scored by a Suns player at Footprint Center. Gilbert Arenas has the record for any player with 54.
Bulls: At Golden State on Friday.
Suns: Host Houston on Friday.