Heat Bucks Basketball

Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks hangs onto the rim after dunking over Miami’s Max Strus during Milwaukee’s 124-102 win Saturday night. Morry Gash/Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Pat Connaughton made seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks avenged an embarrassing loss from the second game of the season, beating the Miami Heat 124-102 on Saturday night despite playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Milwaukee led by as many as 31 points in the second half against a depleted Heat team missing Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo because of injuries. Antetokounmpo sat out because of a right calf injury.

The Heat routed Milwaukee 137-95 in Miami earlier in the season, but the Bucks dominated this time behind Khris Middleton, Connaughton and Jrue Holiday.

Connaughton was 7 of 13 on 3s and Middleton had 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 30 minutes. Holiday scored all of his 16 points in the first half as Milwaukee sprinted to a 17-point lead at intermission.

BULLS 111, NETS 107: Zach LaVine scored 31 points, DeMar DeRozan had 29 and Chicago won at Brooklyn.

Nikola Vucevic and Ayo Dosunmu each added 11 points for the Bulls.

Kevin Durant led Brooklyn with 28 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20. James Harden added 14 points and 14 assists, but shot 5 for 21 from the field.

NUGGETS 113, KNICKS 99: Nikola Jokic scored 32 points and had 11 rebounds in just 27 minutes, leading Denver to a win in New York.

Denver never trailed in winning for only the third time in 10 games.

Zeke Nnaji added 21 points off the bench for the Nuggets, Will Barton contributed 13 and Jeff Green 11.

The Knicks have lost three straight overall and fell to 5-8 at Madison Square Garden.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 24 points.

GRIZZLIES 97, MAVERICKS 90: Desmond Bane scored a career-high 29 points, and Memphis held on for a win at Dallas.

Tyus Jones had 16 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies, who haven’t trailed at all while going 4-0 since star guard and leading scorer Ja Morant was sidelined by a left knee sprain.

The Mavericks dropped to 0-4 this season without Luka Doncic, who sat the second night of a back-to-back because of left ankle soreness, which Coach Jason Kidd said was related to a sprain of his ankle, along with his left knee, sustained almost three weeks ago. Kidd said the two-time All-Star had an MRI but wouldn’t reveal the results.

SPURS 112, WARRIORS 107: Derrick White scored 25 points, Dejounte Murray had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and San Antonio held off a furious rally to beat Golden State in San Francisco.

The Spurs closed the game with an 8-1 run to win their fourth straight.

Stephen Curry scored 27 points and Jordan Poole added 15 for Golden State, which was playing a night after snapping Phoenix’s 18-game winning streak in a matchup of the NBA’s top teams.

NOTES

HORNETS: Four Charlotte players, including last year’s Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball, were placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, an indicator they have tested positive of the coronavirus.

Along with Ball, guard Terry Rozier, center Mason Plumlee and forward Jalen McDaniels will be sidelined for at least 10 days, or until they have recorded two negative tests in a 24-hour period according to league rules.

Barring more positive tests, the Hornets would meet the NBA’s minimum required eight players to play their next scheduled game on Sunday night in Atlanta.

The Hornets (13-11) are currently seventh in the NBA Eastern Conference standings. Charlotte’s last game came Wednesday night at Milwaukee.

The Hornets’ news comes as the league and the National Basketball Players Association has been pushing for players, coaches and staff to get booster shots.

The league has said about 97% of players are vaccinated. It is unclear how many players have received booster shots. The NBA told teams on Friday that those who have not received booster shots by Dec. 17 will be subject to stricter rules; for players, that will mean gameday testing and for staffers, it would mean they cannot continue interacting with players or have the level of access that would allow them to be around the court and travel with the team.

There have now been more than 20 players placed in the league’s health and safety protocols since the season started. In most cases, that has meant a positive test was detected and players have been sidelined for at least 10 days — some significantly longer. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was out for about three weeks.


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