The Journal Gazette
 
 
Saturday, August 01, 2020 1:00 am

NBA

Bucks top Celtics, close in on top seed in conference

Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Giannis Antetokounmpo converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:28 left on an overturned call that kept him in the game and helped the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 119-112 on Friday night.

Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the Bucks' first game in the restart. Milwaukee improved the NBA's best record to 54-12 and moved within a victory of clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the second straight year.

Boston overcame a poor start to tie it at 107. Antetokounmpo was then called for a charging foul, appearing to negate his basket and giving him a sixth foul. The call was changed to a blocking foul on Boston's Marcus Smart after review, and Antetokounmpo made the free throw to make it 110-107.

Khris Middleton then knocked down a 3-pointer for a six-point advantage.

Middleton added 18 points for the Bucks, who played without Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton while they work on their conditioning after testing positive for the coronavirus.

MAGIC 128, NETS 118: Evan Fournier scored 24 points, Nikola Vucevic had 22 and the Orlando Magic picked up where they left off before the NBA season was suspended in their first game of the restart.

Playing as the designated road team not far from their arena, the Magic looked right at home at Disney – whose name they wear as their jersey patch. They extended their winning streak to four and moved back ahead of the Nets into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn also won its last three before the stoppage, but the decimated team that returned is a shell of the one that beat the Lakers in Los Angeles in its final game.

The Nets are missing Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince after they tested positive for the coronavirus. They are already playing without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who had season-ending surgery.

TRAIL BLAZERS 140, GRIZZLIES 135: CJ McCollum scored 33 points, teaming with Damian Lillard for 11 of Portland's 16 in overtime, and the Trail Blazers pulled out a desperately needed victory to resume their season by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 140-135 on Friday.

Lillard finished with 29 points and nine assists as the Trail Blazers boosted their hopes for a seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Carmelo Anthony added 21 points as Portland moved within 2 1/2 games of the Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.

McCollum started fast, scoring 19 points in the first half, and finished strong with two crucial 3-pointers in overtime. The first one to open the extra period gave Portland the lead for good, and he added six assists.

SUNS 125, WIZARDS 112: Devin Booker scored 27 points, Deandre Ayton added 24 points and 12 reboundsas Phoenix S won its first game of the restart.

Booker made all nine of his free throws and the Suns hit 30 of 32 from the line. They shot 52% from the field, with Ayton hitting two of three 3-pointers and going 11 of 14 overall.

Rui Hachimura scored 21 points and Jerome Robinson added 20 for the Wizards on coach Scott Brooks' 55th birthday.

The Wizards entered the bubble without their top two scorers, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans. Beal, the league's No. 2 scorer at 30.5 a game, is out with a shoulder injury. Bertans doesn't want to risk injuring his surgically repaired knees with free agency upcoming. Also, John Wall has missed the entire season with a torn Achilles tendon.


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