NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee Bucks continue red-hot form

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Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his red-hot form as Eastern Conference leaders the Milwaukee Bucks edged out the Utah Jazz 122-118 to record their eighth successive win.

The Greek superstar poured in 50 points for only the second time in his career and also grabbed 14 rebounds and handed out six assists as the Bucks improved to 14-3 for the campaign.

Antetokounmpo is now averaging over 31 points per game this season and has recorded a double-double for 17 successive games.

The Los Angeles Lakers are also on an eight-game winning streak after beating San Antonio Spurs 114-104.

LeBron James paced the Lakers with 33 points and 14 assists and he was ably supported by Anthony Davis, who recorded a double-double of his own with 19 points – 13 coming in the second half – and 12 rebounds.

The Lakers’ win keeps them clear at the top of the Western Conference ahead of in-form trio the Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks, who have all won their last five games but were not in action on Monday night.

The Boston Celtics edged out the Sacramento Kings by one point in a thriller at TD Garden, the home side prevailing 103-102.

Despite a career-high 41 points from Sacramento guard Buddy Hield, the Celtics claimed a narrow victory thanks mainly to 24 points from Jaylen Brown as well as 20 from Jayson Tatum.

The Kings had beaten Boston 100-99 when they met for the first time this season on November 17, but this time the roles were reversed in another gripping encounter.

Sacramento led 22-19 after the first quarter before Boston rallied to hold a 53-46 at half-time. Scores were tied 75-all at the last break before a tense final quarter, with Marcus Smart’s driving layup with 31 seconds remaining putting the Celtics ahead for good.

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors held strong for a 101-96 win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers which took them to 12-4 for the season.

Pascal Siakam led the way for Toronto with 25 points, while team-mate Fred VanVleet contributed 24 for the depleted Raptors, who had six players unavailable.

Josh Richardson top-scored 25 with points for Philadelphia while Ben Simmons nearly made his second triple-double of the season, with 10 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds.

It was another nail-biter in Cleveland as the Brooklyn Nets prevailed over the Cavaliers 108-106.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 23 points and nine assists, while Jarrett Allen finished with 22 points and 21 rebounds as Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points for Cleveland.

Trae Young poured in 37 points but still finished on the losing side as the Atlanta Hawks were beaten 125-113 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, for whom Karl Anthony Towns finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

In other games, the Detroit Pistons beat the Orlando Magic 103-88, the Indiana Pacers downed the Memphis Grizzlies 126-114, while the Miami Heat won 117-100 against the Charlotte Hornets.

Also, the Portland Trailblazers beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 100-97.

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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