Giannis Antetokounmpo shook off the rust of a long lay-off by scoring 36 points to power Milwaukee Bucks to a 119-112 victory over Boston Celtics in their first game of the NBA’s restarted season.
In another game, James Harden scored 49 points and Houston Rockets out-gunned Dallas Mavericks 153-149 in a high-scoring Western Conference contest that went into overtime.
Antetokounmpo remains on track to become the NBA’s first back-to-back MVP since Stephen Curry in 2015-16. Heading into Friday’s game he was averaging a robust 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game this season. It was his 19th straight double double, matching the longest streak in the league this season which also belongs to him.
For the Rockets, Harden scored 23 of his game-high 49 points in the first quarter and Russell Westbrook chipped in with 31 points for Houston after arriving late to Orlando because he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The results: Milwaukee Bucks 119 bt Boston Celtics 112; Orlando Magic 128 bt Brooklyn Nets 118; Phoenix Suns 125 bt Washington Wizards 112; Portland Trail Blazers 140 bt Memphis Grizzlies 135; San Antonio Spurs 129 bt Sacramento Kings 120; Houston Rockets 153 bt Dallas Mavericks 149.