Bucks beat Celtics 127-121, take over 2nd place in East

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday each scored 29 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 127-121 on Thursday to take second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Bucks (50-30) scored the final nine points to move a half game ahead of the Celtics (50-31) and a full game ahead of Philadelphia (49-31), who lost at Toronto on Thursday.

Milwaukee held off a triple-double from Jaylen Brown, who had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Marcus Smart shot 7 of 12 from 3-point range and was the Celtics’ leading scorer with a season-high 29 points. Daniel Theis had 22 points.

Khris Middleton had 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo had 11 rebounds and five assists. Holiday had eight rebounds and eight assists.

WARRIORS 128, LAKERS 112

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 33 points on six 3-pointers and Golden State won its third straight after losing four in a row, escaping late from a depleted Los Angeles.

Jordan Poole added a career-high 19 points and 11 assists for the Warriors in their final home game of the regular season.

Talen Horton-Tucker scored a career-high 40 points on 15-of-28 shooting to lead a Lakers team that is without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook. Los Angeles has lost eighth in a row.

RAPTOR 119, 76ERS 114

TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 37 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his third career triple-double, Gary Trent Jr. scored 30 points and Toronto beat Philadelphia.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics gets past Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 127-121.

  • Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics is fouled by Wesley Matthews of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Milwaukee.  The Bucks won 127-121.

Siakam shot 14 of 28, going 1 of 7 from 3-point range. He made 8 of 10 free throws.

Precious Achiuwa scored 20 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers, and Scottie Barnes had 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Raptors win for the seventh time in eight games.

Joel Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and James Harden had 13 points and 15 assists for the 76ers, whose hopes of winning the Atlantic Division title took a hit.

NUGGETS 122, GRIZZLES 109

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 35 points, Aaron Gordon had 22 and Denver beat Memphis to clinch a playoff spot.

The Nuggets clinched a top-six spot in the Western Conference playoffs and avoided play-in by four teams. They can still win the Northwest Division with a win on Sunday night against the Lakers and two losses for Utah.

Desmond Bane scored 14 points for the Grizzlies, who were coming off an overtime loss at Utah on Wednesday night and have already captured their first-ever division title along with securing the second seed in the West.

TIMBERWOLVES 127, SPURS 121

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards set a career high with 49 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Minnesota beat San Antonio.

Edwards was 16-for-28 from the field, shooting 6-for-14 from 3-point range.

Keldon Johnson had 20 points for San Antonio.

HORNETS 128, MAGIC 101

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — LaMelo Ball had 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as Charlotte defeated Orlando shorthanded.

Charlotte moved within a game of Atlanta and Brooklyn, who are tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with two games remaining in the regular season. The Hornets have already secured a spot in the entry tournament. At 41-39, they secured their first unbeaten season since 2015-16.

Chuma Okeke had 20 points for Orlando.

PELICANS 127, TRAIL BLAZERS 94

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 23 points in 29 minutes against his former team and New Orleans beat Portland to move closer to securing a play-in game at home.

The win, combined with San Antonio’s loss at Minnesota, left New Orleans needing one more win or one more Spurs loss to clinch a play-in game at home on Wednesday.

Drew Eubanks scored 20 points for Portland.

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