Milwaukee Bucks of America star, Giannis Adetokunbo (Antetokounmpo) was again missing in action for his side in USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA) league, but they overcame his absence to post a 108-98 win away to Chicago Bulls.
The Nigerian-born Greece international was sidelined after spraining his ankle against Houston a night earlier, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton led The Bucks with 22 points each while, in the absence of the NBA’s back-to-back and reigning most valuable player (MVP), Bobby Portis had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Milwaukee, who are third in the Eastern Conference.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, while ‘The Greek Freak’ was missing for Milwaukee, fellow-NBA ace, LeBron James returned from injury for Los Angeles Lakers, but he could not save his side from losing 110-106 at home against Sacramento Kings.
Playing his first game after missing 20 with an ankle injury, James managed 32 minutes and shot six from 12 from the open play, but missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left as the Lakers lost their fifth game in six.
Tyrese Haliburton led Sacramento with 23 points and 10 assists, Richaun Holmes had 22 points, while Terence Davis scored 10 of his 15 points during the final 12 minutes, while Anthony Davis had 22 points and 11 rebounds for The Lakers, and Andre Drummond got 17 points.
In other games, Philadelphia 76ers beat visiting Atlanta Hawks 126-104, Washington Wizards won 122-93 at Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies won 92-75 at home to Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers won 128-109 at Brooklyn Nets, and Phoenix Suns won 121-100 at home to Utah Jazz.
The following night in the NBA, Indiana Pacers came close to recording the biggest victory in NBA history in trouncing the Oklahoma City Thunder on their home court.
The Pacers – ninth in the Eastern Conference to Oklahoma’s 13th in the West – made their highest score since joining the league in 1976 in winning by a staggering 57 points – 152-95. They beat their previous best score of 150, set in 1982.
With only four minutes remaining, The Pacers led by 67 points – one off the NBA’s record margin set by the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Miami Heat in 1991 – before the Thunder scored the game’s next 10 points.
Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double – in the first half alone – before ending with 26 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists, while LaMelo Ball returned from a lengthy injury to help Charlotte Hornets to a 107-94 win over visiting Detroit Pistons.
The rookie of the year candidate had missed 21 games with a broken wrist, but played 28 minutes for 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Terry Rozier led the way with 29 points and Miles Bridges had 27 for The Hornets, as the East’s eighth-placed team beat the last side, who had 25 points from Frank Jackson.
Steph Curry surged to score 23 points in the third quarter to lead Golden State Warriors to a 113-87 win at Houston Rockets, as he ended with 30 points for the match and was not even needed in the fourth quarter.
That was after The Warriors – down 55-49 at half-time – dominated Houston 39-12 in the third term, as Andrew Wiggins had 20 points for Golden State, while Kevin Porter Jnr and Kenyon Martin Jnr each had 16 points for Houston.
In other games, Miami Heat won 124-107 at Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic held on for a 112-111 home win against Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans won 140-136 in overtime at Minnesota Timberwolves.
Same night, Atlanta Hawks beat the visiting Chicago Bulls 108-97, Dallas Mavericks edged visiting Washington Wizards 125-124, Utah Jazz won 106-102 at home to Toronto Raptors, and Denver Nuggets won 110-104 at Los Angeles Clippers.