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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bucks stretch NBA win streak to seven while Celtics rip Clippers

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Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points to lead the Milwaukee over New York 130-111 on Saturday, stretching the Bucks’ NBA win streak to seven games.

The Greek star added seven rebounds and seven assists while Bobby Portis came off the bench to deliver 23 points and a team-high 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who improved to 22-7.

“Right now our team is just rolling,” Portis said. “Everybody is playing with swag and confidence, playing together.

“Basketball is beautiful when you play it the right way — just great ball movement, trusting one another, getting to the right spots.”

Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 36 points and Julius Randle added 26 for the Knicks, who will try to snap a nine-game losing streak against the Bucks in their Christmas holiday rematch on Monday, also at Madison Square Garden.

“We played out of a hole from the start of the game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And it snowballed from there.

“Every aspect of the game we were a step behind. Just a low-energy type game so we’ve got to bounce back.”

Khris Middleton added 20 points for the Bucks while Milwaukee had 19 each from Damian Lillard and Malik Beasley.

The Bucks out-rebounded the Knicks 53-40.

“We just tried to clean up the rebound war,” Portis said. “They’re a great rebounding team overall. We didn’t give up too many second-chance points.”

The Bucks remained second in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics, who improved to an NBA-best 22-6 by beating the host Los Angeles Clippers 145-108.

The Knicks slid to 16-12, sixth in the East.

Antetokounmpo, who ranks third in NBA scoring with 30.9 points a game, overcame early foul trouble to spark a second-half surge for the Bucks, who kept the lead into the fourth quarter and pulled away in the final minutes.

Brunson scored 21 points in the first half, including a corner jumper at the halftime buzzer to lift the Knicks within 62-54.

At Los Angeles, Jayson Tatum scored 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 24 to lead Boston’s domination of the Clippers.

Tatum hit 9-of-16 shots from the floor, 5-of-10 from 3-point range, while Brown was 9-of-17 and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Jrue Holiday added 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Derrick White contributed 18 points for Boston and Paul George led the Clippers with 21 points.

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