Bucks roar back to beat Blazers

LOS ANGELES: The Milwaukee Bucks erased a 26-point deficit to beat Portland 108-102 on Sunday (Monday in Manila) as Phoenix and Orlando stretched their NBA winning streaks to seven games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Bucks. Teammate Damian Lillard added 31 in his first game against his former team and Milwaukee authored the biggest comeback victory of the season so far.

bucks roar back to beat blazers
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by Malcolm Brogdon of the Portland Trail Blazers during an NBA game at Fiserv Forum on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AFP PHOTO

Lillard, who played 11 seasons in Portland until he was traded to Milwaukee in September, admitted it was “a weird feeling” to take the court against former teammates.

“But once we started playing I kind of got over it quick,” added Lillard, who added five rebounds and four assists. “I’m just happy we were able to get the win.”

Portland, fueled by 22 points from Jerami Grant and 18 from Malcolm Brogdon, led 68-52 at halftime and pushed their advantage to 26 points early in the third period.

Lillard’s three-pointer tied it at 97-97 with less than three minutes remaining. It was tied at 102-102 when Antetokounmpo tipped in the go-ahead basket with 18.5 seconds left to play.

A big block from Antetokounmpo on Brogdon and four free-throws from Lillard sealed it.

“We’ve been in that situation a few times this season, where our character was tested, our togetherness was tested,” Lillard said. “We showed true again.”

Phoenix guard Devin Booker starred in New York, drilling a go-ahead three-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining as the Suns kept their streak going with a 116-113 victory over the Knicks.

Booker scored 28 points and handed out 11 assists for the Suns, who were without superstar Kevin Durant for a second straight game because of a sore right foot.

Jalen Brunson scored 35 points with six rebounds and eight assists for the Knicks, but his three-point attempt as time expired rimmed out.

In Orlando, Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony scored 30 points apiece to fuel the Magic’s 130-117 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Paolo Banchero added 23 points and eight assists for the Magic, who outscored the Hornets 74-60 in the paint and parlayed 18 Charlotte turnovers into 28 points.

Up 61-57 at halftime, the Magic didn’t trail in the second half. Anthony scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to help Orlando extend their lead to as many as 16.

Miles Bridges led Charlotte with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Hornets ultimately had no answer for a Magic team on its longest winning streak since a nine-win run in the 2010-11 season.

In Boston, Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, Jaylen Brown added 21 to propel the Celtics to a 113-103 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Celtics were without injured Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, but after a lackluster loss to the Magic on Friday the short-handed hosts hustled for the victory.

Boston pulled down a season-high 58 rebounds, including 18 on the offensive glass.

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