Bucks win 4th straight since Kidd's firing
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 18 rebounds, Matthew Dellavedova scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-85 on Monday night for their fourth straight win since firing coach Jason Kidd.
Antetokounmpo picked up his 22nd double-double of the season to lead the Bucks, who tightened up their defense after allowing the Sixers to score 22 of their first 26 points in the paint.
Antetokounmpo then asserted himself in the lane, and Philadelphia was hard-pressed to contain the athletic 6-foot-11 forward with All-Star center Joel Embiid sitting out the game for rest.
Milwaukee overcame a slow start to shoot 47.5 percent while hitting 11 of 28 3-pointers despite guard Eric Bledsoe playing just the first 2:32 of the game.
Daro Saric scored 19 points to lead Philadelphia, which shot 43.9 percent from the floor but missed 24 of 26 attempts from beyond the arc.
Philadelphia was playing shorthanded as Embiid was available to play in the second half of a back-to-back for the first time in his career but was scratched about 30 mintues before tipoff by head coach Brett Brown.
Even without Embiid, the Sixers were dominant inside but they went 0-for-15 from deep in the opening half while Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 26 to send Milwaukee into the break with a 55-53 lead.
In Denver, Kyrie Irving delivered 27 points and Jaylen Brown rattled in a clutch 3-pointer with 34 seconds left as the Boston Celtics edged the Nuggets 111-110, AFP reported.
Irving scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and shot 11-of-17 from the field overall for the Celtics, who won for the secon time in seven games.
Jayson Tatum added 20 points and Marcus Morris came off the bench to score 14.
Brown's 3-point from the left corner turned out to be the game-winning shot.
Denver had a chance to win in dramatic fashion at the end but Will Barton's long attempt from 3-point range was late and wide.
"They put us in some tough spots and I thought our guys battled," said Boston coach Brad Stevens. "We missed some good opportunities on offense. But we found a way."
Nikola Jokic finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Barton scored 19, Gary Harris 15 and Jamal Murray 14.
Mason Plumlee had 16 points and 8 rebounds before he left with a leg injury in the fourth.
The Celtics beat Denver for the second time this season, also winning 124-118 on December 13.
Elsewhere in the NBA, it was: Heat 95, Mavericks 88; Grizzlies 120, Suns 109; Hawks 105, Timberwolves 100; and Pacers 105, Hornets 96.