Magic 94, Warriors 90
Hawks 117, Knicks 111
Bucks 126, Bulls 98
Nuggets 127, Clippers 115
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from injury to score 25 points as the Milwaukee Bucks crushed the Chicago Bulls, 126-98, on Tuesday.
Antetokounmpo, who missed the Bucks’ 138-119 mauling by Minnesota on Saturday after complaining of knee soreness, came back with a vengeance as the Bucks pounded the Bulls line-up.
The Greek star hauled in 17 rebounds and added five assists, while Jrue Holiday also posted a big game with 27 points. Seven Milwaukee players finished the night in double figures.
The Bucks, who led from midway through the first quarter, surging 35 points clear late in the game, improved their season record to 45-27 to stand second in the Eastern Conference.
In Florida, German rookie Franz Wagner scored 18 points as the Orlando Magic sent the Golden State Warriors sliding to a third straight defeat on Tuesday.
Wagner, chosen with the eighth overall pick in last year’s draft, also chipped in with three assists, two steals and a block as the Warriors slumped to an upset 94-90 defeat.
The Warriors fell to 47-25 to remain third in the Western Conference while Orlando, already eliminated from playoff contention, are one off the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 20-53.
Wagner was backed with 19 points from Wendell Carter Jr, while Cole Anthony added 14.
The Warriors, missing the injured Stephen Curry, were led with 26 points from Jordan Poole while Klay Thompson finished with 15.
Orlando had roared into an early lead after outscoring the Warriors 25-17 before taking a 46-38 lead into the half-time break.
But Golden State exploded for 36 points in the third quarter to build a 74-65 lead thanks to a 12-point burst of scoring from Poole.
Yet, the momentum flipped back to Orlando in the final quarter, with the home side taking the period 29-16 to complete an unexpected victory.
“I thought we were scattered in the fourth quarter a little bit,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss.
“I thought we were a lot out of whack … just a really disappointing fourth quarter.
“But give them credit. They were hyped. They’ve had a long difficult year and they got after us and did a great job.
“They earned the win and the right to feel good about that game tonight. But we’ve got to do better.”
In New York, Trae Young delivered a 45-point masterpiece as the Atlanta Hawks downed the New York Knicks 117-111 at Madison Square Garden.
Young made seven-of-15 from three-point range with eight assists while Bogdan Bogdanovic added 32 for the Hawks, who improved to 36-36 to remain 10th in the Eastern Conference and firmly on course for a place in the postseason play-in tournament.
“It’s a fun atmosphere to play in but any night you’re allowed to play basketball is fun, so I try to enjoy it,” Young said afterwards.
“We’ve just got to stay locked in and try and finish off the season strong and see where it leads us at the end.”
R.J. Barrett led the Knicks scoring with 30 points. The Knicks remain 12th in the East.