MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo chased down the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown from behind and swatted what would have been a momentum-swinging layup against the backboard with 53 seconds left in a tight game.
An official first ruled goaltending. A replay review overturned the call into a blocked shot.
The Milwaukee Bucks held on for a 106-102 win on Tuesday night, getting a confidence boost against a short-handed opponent they could face in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we match up well with them,” Antetokounmpo said. “It doesn’t matter really who we’re going to see.”
First, the Bucks need one more victory to clinch a second straight postseason berth. That could come as soon as Thursday against the 53-loss Brooklyn Nets.
76ERS 121, NETS 95
PHILADELPHIA — The focused 76ers have their eyes and hearts set on home-court advantage in the playoffs.
J.J. Redick scored 19 points and Ben Simmons had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead Philadelphia to its 11th straight victory, 121-95 over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. That kept the 76ers in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with five games remaining.
“We don’t hide from our goal,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. “We want home court.”
If the playoffs started on Wednesday, the 76ers would host a first-round series. They remained a half-game behind third-place Cleveland and in front of fifth-place Indiana, which began Tuesday a half-game behind Philadelphia. The 76ers have five games remaining, including Friday’s home contest against the Cavaliers.
JAZZ 117, LAKERS 110
SALT LAKE CITY — Ricky Rubio scored 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting, added eight assists and six rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 117-110 on Tuesday night.
Donovan Mitchell added 26 points while Rudy Gobert chipped in 12 points, 16 rebounds and five assists.
Six players scored in double figures to lead the Jazz (45-33) to their third straight win.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 28 points and Kyle Kuzma had 26 for the Lakers.
BULLS 120, HORNETS 114
CHICAGO — Many believe it’s in the Bulls’ best interests to lose as many games as possible as the regular season winds down.
The players don’t.
Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 21 off the bench to lead Chicago to a 120-114 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night.
Markkanen didn’t play in the fourth quarter and totaled just 24 minutes for the game. The 7-foot rookie was 8 of 14 from the field, including 5 of 6 on 3-pointers.
Rockets 120, WIZARDS 104
HOUSTON — James Harden grinned as he jogged past courtside fan and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon after one of his improbable buckets Tuesday night against Washington.
“He said, ‘It looked too easy,'” Harden said. “I’m sure he probably felt that same way when he was playing.”
Harden had 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, leading the Houston Rockets to a 120-104 victory over the Wizards.