Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and eight assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks nearly squandered an early 23-point lead before finishing strong in a 112-101 victory over the turnover-prone Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.
Greg Monroe also had 24 points for the Bucks. They watched their early edge dwindle to 77-74 late in the third quarter following four 3s in the period by Chris Paul.
But the Bucks reasserted control with a 15-2 run for a 92-76 lead with about 9 minutes left, capped by Antetokounmpo’s driving dunk past Blake Griffin, and Jason Terry’s open 3 from the corner. Milwaukee also used a 20-2 run over the final 4:33 of the first quarter to open a 19-point lead at halftime. Mistakes crippled the Clippers throughout the night. Los Angeles had a season-high 23 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.
Seth Curry scored 29 points, Harrison Barnes added 24 and the Dallas Mavericks beat Miami 96-89 on Monday night, handing the Heat just their third loss in 19 games.
Curry looked a little like famous older brother Stephen Curry of Golden State by hitting two long 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the latter giving Dallas a 90-89 lead. The Mavericks rallied from 14 points down in the first quarter and let an 11-point third-quarter lead get away.
Two games after scoring a career-high 31 points in a loss at Minnesota, Curry was 5 of 7 from long range to help the Mavericks improve to 2-0 with forward-centre Nerlens Noel, who came from Philadelphia before the trade deadline.
Goran Dragic scored 24 points for the Heat, who went scoreless over the final 4:37 as a three-game winning streak ended.
Hassan Whiteside, a free agent target for Dallas last summer, had 19 points and 19 rebounds. Now the Mavericks are preparing for a future with the 22-year-old Noel, who had a crowd-energising block from behind on Whiteside and finished with six points and six rebounds.