Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 29 points in the first quarter, returning to the lineup after a five-game absence to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 150-130 win over the Detroit Pistons in the NBA on Monday night.
The two-time MVP was joined by three-time All-Star Khris Middleton, putting the Bucks’ prolific duo in the same lineup for the first time in more than a month.
Antetokounmpo had been out with a sore left knee. Middleton, who hadn’t played since Dec. 15 due to a sore right knee, had eight points and four assists.
The Bucks scored 49 points in the first quarter, two shy of the NBA record, and led Detroit by 25 after Antetokounmpo made all six of his shots in eight-plus minutes.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 33 points and rookie Jalen Duren had a season-high 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won an Eastern Conference-low 12 games and are ahead of only Houston in the league-wide standings.
MAGIC 113, CELTICS 98
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paolo Banchero scored 23 points, Jonathan Isaac played in an NBA game for the first time in 2 1/2 years and Orlando Magic broke Boston Celtics’ nine-game winning streak.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 26 points apiece for the Celtics, who managed just three points after Tatum’s 3-pointer cut Orlando’s lead to 97-95 with 6:20 remaining.
Wendell Carter Jr. had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic. Cole Anthony came off the bench with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Isaac missed 211 games since tearing his ACL in the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World on Aug. 2, 2020. He finished with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals, playing about 9 1/2 minutes.
KINGS 133, GRIZZLIES 100
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Trey Lyles scored a season-high 24 points, Harrison Barnes had 15 of his 20 in Sacramento’s record-tying first quarter and the Kings beat short-handed Memphis.
The Kings tied the NBA record with 12 3-pointers in the first quarter — in just 13 attempts — and scored 47 points. But Sacramento didn’t put away the game until outscoring Memphis 33-10 in the fourth quarter.
Lyles was 6 for 8 from 3-point range for the Kings (27-19), who have won seven of their last eight games.
Domantas Sabonis finished with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his sixth triple-double of the season. Keegan Murray also finished with 20 points and De’Aaron Fox had 17 points and 10 assists.
Desmond Bane scored 21 points for the Memphis (31-16), which played without Ja Morant and Steven Adams. The Grizzlies have lost three straight following an 11-game winning streak.
ROCKETS 119, TIMBERWOLVES 114
HOUSTON (AP) — Jalen Green scored a career-high 42 points and the Houston Rockets held on to beat Minnesota Timberwolves and snap a 13-game losing streak.
Green, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, had 21 points by halftime and kept up his strong play in the second half to lead the Rockets to their first victory since Dec. 26 at Chicago. They ended their longest skid of the season and also a 10-game home losing streak, winning at home for the first time since Dec. 13 against Phoenix.
Anthony Edwards had 31 points and D’Angelo Russell tied a season high with 30 for the Timberwolves, who had won two straight.
BULLS 111, HAWKS 100
CHICAGO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points in his 1,000th career game, Nikola Vucevic added 14 points and 17 rebounds and Chicago Bulls beat Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls returned to Chicago after 126-108 win over the Pistons in Paris on Thursday.
Trae Young had 21 points and 13 assists, while Dejounte Murray added 20 points for the Hawks, who have lost two straight after winning five in a row.
JAZZ 120, HORNETS 102
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 25 points and Utah Jazz beat cold-shooting Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets made only two 3-pointers, both by Terry Rozier, the fewest by an NBA team this season. Charlotte had 16 attempts beyond the arc, shooting 12.5%, while the Jazz made 16 of 40. The previous low for Charlotte this season was five 3s, most recently on Dec. 3 at Milwaukee.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points and Mike Conley added 14 for the Jazz, who have won three of four.
Rozier scored 23 points and Mason Plumlee had 18 for the Hornets, who were trying to win three straight games for the first time this season.
TRAIL BLAZERS 147, SPURS 127
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 37 points and 12 assists, and Portland Trail Blazers beat San Antonio Spurs to stop a three-game losing streak.
Jusuf Nurkic added 25 points and 11 rebounds for the struggling Blazers, who had lost eight of their previous 10 games.
Keldon Johnson scored 20 points for the Spurs, who have lost seven of their last eight games and sit second-to-last in the Western Conference standings, just above the Houston Rockets.