Milwaukee beat Brooklyn for the second time in three days to confirm their playoff spot and close in on the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks – whose main focus has been at the top of the standings – did it on their own court, following up Sunday’s victory over the James-Harden-less Nets with a 124-118 success that gave them a third successive win and keeps three teams in the hunt for the top seed in the East.
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Tuesday night NBA results
Brooklyn Nets 118-124 Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo made 4-of-12 3-pointers en route to a team-high 36 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and led the Milwaukee Bucks to their second win over the Brooklyn Nets in three days.
The Bucks (41-24) dominated the interior with advantages of 44-30 scoring in the paint, 62-50 rebounding and 20-9 on second-chance points.
Coupled with an overwhelming defensive effort in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee completed the two-game sweep to gain ground in the Eastern Conference chase with Brooklyn (43-23).
With the win, Milwaukee moved to 1.5 games behind Brooklyn for the No. 2 seed in the East, and three behind top seeds Philadelphia – who now lead the Nets by one-and-a-half games.
Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 38 points, which included 6-of-12 shooting from 3-point range, while Kevin Durant went 4-of-8 from outside and finished with 32 points to move past Charles Barkley to move to No. 26 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton both finished with 23 points, Holiday fell just short of a triple-double with 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Bucks returned to the post season for the fifth successive year.
Phoenix Suns 134-188 Cleveland Cavaliers (OT)
Devin Booker’s 31 points and Chris Paul’s 23 points and 16 assists helped the Phoenix Suns hold off the host Cleveland Cavaliers for a 134-118 overtime victory on Tuesday night.
Booker shot 14-for-27 from the field and also had six rebounds and five assists as the Suns (47-18) moved back into a tie with the Utah Jazz for the top spot in the Western Conference with their fifth consecutive victory.
Rookie Issac Okoro scored a career-high 32 points and added six assists, nearly helping the Cavaliers (21-44) avoid their seventh consecutive defeat. Collin Sexton tallied 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Okoro and Booker duelled down the stretch of regulation, Okoro twice tied the game in the final minute before Booker had a chance to win it at the buzzer; but, after dribbling his way into the far corner and drawing a double-team, his contested 3-pointer was an air ball, sending the game to overtime.
It’s the dunk AND the reaction for us 🤯 pic.twitter.com/WiVZj3Ofg3
After failing to pull away throughout regulation, Phoenix opened overtime with a 15-0 run fuelled by eight points from Mikal Bridges, who totalled 22 points to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Suns, who scored 23 points off 17 Cleveland turnovers, clamped down defensively in overtime as they allowed only four points and held the Cavaliers without a field goal for three and a half minutes.
The @Suns 5th straight W moves them into 1st place!
Teams ranked 7-10 will participate in the #StateFarmPlayIn Tournament after the regular season (May 18-21) to secure the final two spots in the #NBAPlayoffs for each conference. pic.twitter.com/F6cdvIEMJX
Toronto Raptors 100-105 Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied late to defeat the visiting Toronto Raptors 105-100 in LA.
Los Angeles (44-22) overcame a six-point deficit in the last six minutes to end a three-game losing streak with Marcus Morris Sr. chipping in with 22 points
Reggie Jackson added 18 points and Kawhi Leonard contributed 13 for the Clippers who had Patrick Beverley back in the line-up for the first time in almost a month having been sidelined with a fractured hand.
Fred VanVleet had 27 points and 13 assists for the Raptors (37-29), who were without Kyle Lowry (back) and OG Anunoby (calf) as they ended a Western trip at 1-3. Pascal Siakam scored 11 of his 24 points in the first quarter.
The Clippers grabbed sole possession of third place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of the Denver Nuggets while the Raptors fell three-and-a-half games behind the Washington Wizards in the chase for the final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
Wednesday night’s NBA fixtures
Live NBA: Phoenix @ Atlanta 05.05
Golden State Warriors 103 – 108 New Orleans Pelicans
Lonzo Ball scored 33 points and Zion Williamson had a double-double as the host New Orleans Pelicans held off the Golden State Warriors to record a 108-103 victory.
Just one night after shooting 3 of 18 (1 of 9 on 3-pointers) in a loss to the Warriors, Ball made 11 of 23 shots, including 7 of 13 from beyond the 3-point arc. Williamson tallied 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as New Orleans (30-36) closed with a 13-5 run.
Eric Bledsoe added 14 points, and Brandon Ingram scored 13 before being sidelined by a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter. Naji Marshall scored 10 off the bench.
One night after scoring 41 points, Steph Curry tallied 37 to lead the Warriors (33-33). But he recorded just two in the fourth quarter. Andrew Wiggins added 26 points and hit 5 of 10 3-pointers.
🔥 Career high tying 33 PTS for @ZO2_
🔥 Game-winning jumper in final minute#WontBowDown pic.twitter.com/8MpVhGxLmz
Dallas Mavericks 127 – 113 Miami Heat
Tim Hardaway Jr. matched the franchise record with a career-high 10 3-pointers as part of a 36-point effort to help the Dallas Mavericks rally for a 127-113 victory over hosts Miami.
Luka Doncic registered 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Mavericks (37-28) won for the seventh time in the past nine games.
Dallas shares the fifth-best record in the Western Conference with the slumping Los Angeles Lakers and owns the tiebreaker.
Jalen Brunson scored 19 points, Jason Richardson added 17 and Dorian Finney-Smith had 12 for the Mavericks, who trailed by 11 in the opening minutes before later exploding to outscore the Heat 68-38 over the middle two quarters.
TEN THREES 🥵🥵🥵 pic.twitter.com/64BhNoqavf
Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson tallied 19 points for Miami (35-31), who were without five-time All-Star Jimmy Butler (illness) and saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
Hardaway matched his career high of nine 3-pointers by knocking one down to make it 112-89 with 7:39 left. Just 38 seconds later, Hardaway drilled No. 10 to match the team mark shared by George McCloud (Dec. 16, 1995) and Wesley Matthews (Dec. 6, 2015).
Sacramento Kings 103 – 99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Buddy Hield compiled 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 103-99 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Delon Wright came up with a pair of big blocks in the game’s closing moments to help the Kings – who led by 17 in the third quarter, and by 13 just past the midpoint of the fourth – hold off a furious Thunder run
Wright, starting in place of Tyrese Haliburton (knee), scored the Kings’ only two field goals in the final 5:40. The final one was a reverse layup with 18 seconds left to extend the lead to three.
threw 'em for a ➰ pic.twitter.com/RfiYybvxzs
Isaiah Roby’s potential game-tying 3-point attempt with less than 10 seconds banked off the rim. Sacramento grabbed the rebound, and Richaun Holmes made one of two foul shots to seal the Kings’ third consecutive win.
Sacramento has won six of its past nine immediately after a nine-game losing streak, while the Thunder lost their fourth consecutive game and fell for the 21st time in 23 games.
Terence Davis finished with 18 points for the Kings (28-37) who had seven players score in double figures, while Darius Bazley led the Thunder (21-45) with 24 points, and he grabbed 11 rebounds.
Charlotte Hornets 102 – 99 Detroit Pistons
LaMelo Ball scored 23 points to lead the Charlotte Hornets to a 102-99 road win over the Detroit Pistons.
Terry Rozier scored 18 points and Caleb Martin added 17 points for Charlotte (32-33), which moved one-and-a-half games ahead of the Indiana Pacers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Hamidou Diallo scored a career-high 35 points and Sekou Doumbouya contributed a season-high 20 points for Detroit (19-47), who lost their fourth game in a row and fell for the seventh time in eight contests as they maintained their position at the foot of the Eastern Conference standings.
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