LA Lakers jump on Warriors early, roll to easy win

IN a duel between NBA championship contenders, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks got the best of Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers, 105-100 on Sunday in Milwaukee.

Antetokounmpo scored 36 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, becoming the second player in Milwaukee history to score 35 or more points in four consecutive games.

The Bucks, who won their fifth consecutive game, ended the contest on a 9-0 run.

Leading 101-100 after a pair of Antetokounmpo free throws, the Bucks regained possession after a missed jumper by Paul George. Following a time out, the Bucks rotated the ball on the perimeter and fed Antetokounmpo, who blew past Marcus Morris, Sr. and delivered an emphatic one-handed dunk with 10.3 seconds left.

Leonard had a chance to tie at the other end, but his three-pointer hit the front of the rim and bounced to Khris Middleton, who was fouled with 2.1 seconds left. Middleton hit both free throws to seal the victory.

Leonard finished with 25 points and nine rebounds as the Clippers used a 13-0 run to take a 73-70 lead late in the third. But the Clippers shot 0-for-seven over the final 4:01 of the game.

Jrue Holiday returned to the Bucks rotation after missing the previous 10 games due to health and safety protocols. Holiday entered the game with 5:23 left in the first quarter and finished with only two points and three assists. But Holiday finished with a plus-10 in plus-minus over 18 minutes.

Middleton scored 19 points and finished with eight assists and six rebounds, while Donte DiVincenzo had 11 points and seven rebounds.

George had 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Serge Ibaka totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds. Lou Williams finished with 14 points and Morris Sr. scored 11 points off the Clippers bench.

Patrick Patterson (personal reasons) missed his sixth consecutive game. Jaylen Adams sat out for the fifth consecutive game due to health and safety protocols, and rookie Jordan Nwora missed his 14th game in a row with a left ankle sprain.

LeBron James scored 19 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers pounded the visiting Golden State Warriors (117-91) on Sunday.

James, who also had six rebounds, hit 7 of 12 shots, including three of five 3-pointers in a season-low 24 minutes. He and the Lakers’ starters rested the entire fourth quarter.

Markieff Morris contributed 13 points and eight rebounds, Alex Caruso also scored 13, and Dennis Schroder collected 12 points and six assists for the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Talen Horton-Tucker scored 11 off the bench.

Stephen Curry, who entered the game averaging 29.9 points per game, managed just 16 points, seven assists and three steals as the Warriors had their three-game winning streak end. Curry misfired on five of the seven 3-pointers he attempted.

The Warriors lost Draymond Green late in the second quarter with a left ankle sprain. Green, who recorded a career-high 19 assists in Friday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets, finished with six points and two assists in 13 minutes. — Reuters