Giannis scores 43 as Bucks beat Pistons 125-115

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 43 points and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Detroit Pistons 125-115 on Monday night to move above the .500 mark for the first time this season.

The reigning two-time MVP scored 30 points by half-time, shot 17-of-24 from the floor overall and finished with nine rebounds.

Antetokounmpo said he might have gotten a little more room to operate inside because the Bucks (4-3) have shot so well from three-point range lately. Milwaukee made at least 20 three-pointers in three of its first six games, including 22 in a 126-96 blowout of Chicago on Friday.

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic had 33 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, and Tim Hardaway Jr added 30 off the bench as the Dallas Mavericks used a big fourth-quarter run to pull away in a 113-100 win over the Houston Rockets.

Dallas was on top by three with about seven minutes remaining before using a 14-3 spurt, with seven points from Hardaway, to extend the lead to 106-92 with about two-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Houston couldn’t get anything going as the Mavericks took over. The Rockets missed five shots and had two turnovers in that span.

In San Francisco, Stephen Curry followed up his career-high 62 points a night earlier with another 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to lead the suddenly-clicking Golden State Warriors past the Sacramento Kings 137-106.

Curry had 23 points at half-time on 7-for-11 shooting, including 4-of-7 on three-pointers. He finished with five threes.

“It’s a statement to us that we’re getting better. That’s all you can ask for,” Curry said.

Elsewhere, Ben Simmons had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as his Philadelphia 76ers accounted for the Charlotte Hornets 118-101, Jayson Tatum (40 points) led the Boston Celtics to a 126-114 win over the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-116 after Malcolm Brogdon hit the game-winner with 1.7 seconds left in overtime.

In other results, Julius Randle scored 28 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as the New York Knicks rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-108, the Miami Heat routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-90 and the Orlando Magic defeated Cleveland 103-83 on a dirty night for the injury-hit Cavaliers who lost Australian guard Dante Exum to a left calf injury just 47 seconds in.

Exum was in the starting line-up and looking to build on some exceptional form as one of the team’s defensive stoppers but he went to dribble the ball and collapsed in a heap, immediately clutching for the back of his foot.

He hobbled off the court and didn’t return, joining a long list of injuries for the embattled Cavs but it was quickly announced by broadcasters that team doctors believed he had a right calf strain rather than the more serious Achilles injury.

Exum had left the locker room in an air boot with more information to come.

“From what I understand it’s a calf, we will have more information but that’s what I was told,” Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff said post-game.

“With all that goes on with this, the most important thing is the people that are involved in it.

“Sometimes we might lose sight of that because it’s so about wins and losses and all those things but, for us, it's about the people.

“When someone you are with and care about has that disappointment, you feel that too. He was playing well, he had a great training camp. It does hurt. None of us feel it like he feels it but as a group it hurts us all.”


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