Antetokounmpo scores 54 points, Bucks beat Clippers 106-105
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 54 points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-105 on Thursday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
Antetokounmpo also had 18 rebounds. The Greek star reached the 50-point mark for the third time in his last 11 games. He had a career-high 55 on Jan. 3 against Washington and scored 50 in only 30 minutes Sunday against New Orleans.
The Clippers lost for the second time in eight games and failed to capitalize on a couple of Milwaukee turnovers in the closing seconds. Kawhi Leonhard missed an 18-footer in the final second while being guarded by Wesley Matthews with help from Pat Connaughton.
Antetokounmpo made two free throws with 1:47 remaining to put the Bucks ahead 106-105, giving them their first lead since the second quarter. Kawhi Leonard missed a 12-footer and Paul George had an air-ball a 3-pointer on the Clippers’ next two possessions.
George stole the ball from Jrue Holiday and the Clippers called a timeout with 27.1 seconds left, but Leonard missed a jumper. Antetokounmpo got the rebound but threw the ball out of bounds, giving Los Angeles possession with 15.1 seconds left.
The Clippers again got the ball to Leonhard, who missed once more.
Norman Powell scored 26 points to lead the Clippers. Leonard had 17 points, 11 rebound and five assists, but shot 7 of 26. Marcus Morris and George had 16 points each. Zubac had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Khris Middleton had 16 points and Holiday added 12 for the Bucks. Holiday missed his first eight shots and didn’t get his first basket until late in the third quarter.
Clippers: Morris returned after missing four games with a bruised rib. … George got his eighth career All-Star selection earlier in the day.
Bucks: Holiday was named an All-Star reserve, marking his first All-Star selection since 2013 when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers. He joins Antetokounmpo on the All-Star team. This is the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Bucks have had multiple All-Stars.
Clippers: At New York on Saturday night.
Bucks: Host Miami on Saturday night.
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Steve Megargee, The Associated Press