Giannis Antetokounmpo converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1 minute, 28 seconds 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 three-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 COVID-19. 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, although 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 has been battling a sore knee.
ROCKETS 153, MAVERICKS 149
James Harden scored 49 points and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Dallas Mavericks in overtime in their first game in the NBA bubble.
Harden made one of two free throws before Trey Burke made a three-pointer to get the Mavericks within three with about 15 seconds left in overtime.
Harden made one of two free throws after that, Burke missed a three and Harden got the rebound to secure the victory.
“Our confidence defensively was building, especially in that fourth quarter,” Harden said. “We kept pushing the tempo, kept fighting.”
In regulation time, Dallas led by three before Harden made the first of two free throws and Robert Covington tipped in a miss on the second to tie it with 3.3 seconds remaining.
Harden raved about Covington’s tip-in.
“Unbelievable play,” he said. “I didn’t mean to miss it, I intended to make it. It was just a perfect miss.”
Luka Doncic missed a shot at the buzzer, which sent the game into overtime.
Kristaps Porzingis had 39 points and 16 rebounds for Dallas, while Doncic had a triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Porzingis put the Mavericks up by four early in overtime. Houston scored the next eight points, with the last five from Harden, to take a 147-143 lead.
Porzingis had a three-point play, but Covington added a three-pointer after missing his first eight to extend Houston’s lead to four.
“This is a tough loss,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is about as tough as it gets, and it just comes down to basic execution.”
Doncic said that he hopes the game would be a lesson to the Mavericks.
“We’re a young team. We’ve got a lot to learn,” he said. “We’ll get better for sure. I know we’re going to get together when it matters most, so I’m not worried about that.”
Harden, who had 23 points in the first quarter, passed Calvin Murphy to become the second-leading scorer in franchise history behind Hakeem Olajuwon.
TRAIL BLAZERS 140, GRIZZLIES 135
C.J. McCollum scored 33 points, teaming with Damian Lillard for 11 of Portland’s 16 in overtime, as the Trail Blazers pulled out a desperately needed victory to resume their season by beating the Memphis Grizzlies.
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 2.5 games of the Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
SUNS 125, WIZARDS 112
Devin Booker scored 27 points, and Deandre Ayton added 24 points and 12 rebounds as Phoenix beat Washington.
Booker made all nine of his free throws and the Suns hit 30 of 32 from the line. They shot 52 percent from the field, with Ayton hitting two of three three-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.
Spurs 129, Kings 120
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points — all but two in the second half — and added 10 assists as San Antonio finished with a flurry to beat Sacramento in the teams’ first game back in action after the league’s stoppage for COVID-19.
Derrick White added 26 points for San Antonio, with Rudy Gay scoring 19 off the bench, Lonnie Walker IV sinking 16 and Dejounte Murray contributing 11.
The Kings’ De’Aaron Fox led all scorers with 39 points.
Bogdan Bogdanovic hit 24 and Nemanja Bjelica added 12 for Sacramento.
Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table. Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw. Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan. Imai, who also managed the national
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational