NBA roundup: Bucks fall to 76ers despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s career-high 52 points

76ers center Joel Embiid faces the double-team defense of Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and center Brook Lopez during the first half Sunday.
(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 52 points, but Joel Embiid had 40 points and 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers over the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo made 15 of 26 shots from the field, including three of eight from three-point range, and sank 19 of 21 free throws to better his previous career best by eight points.

Embiid and the Sixers weathered a late charge by Milwaukee to beat the team with the best overall record in the NBA (52-18) and the top home record (27-6). It was the fifth time this season Embiid scored 40 or more points and came in his fourth game back after missing nine straight with left knee soreness.

Jimmy Butler added 27 points, JJ Redick 19 and Tobias Harris 12 for the Sixers, near the top of the Eastern Conference standings at 45-15.


Milwaukee had a brief scare when Antetokounmpo was fouled on a driving layup and landed awkwardly late in the third. He got up favoring his right leg, but then sank one of two free throws.

Embiid scored 18 points and Butler had 14 in the fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo’s three-point play pulled the Bucks to 118-114 with 1:18 to go, but Ben Simmons then tipped in Embiid’s miss.

The Bucks got to within three points twice in the closing seconds, but Embiid and Harris each made two free throws to seal the win.

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Khris Middleton scored 13 points and Brooks Lopez added 11 for the Bucks.

Mike Scott hit a wide-open three-pointer to give the Sixers a 98-86 lead early in the fourth and force the Bucks to burn a timeout.

Scott also provided a fun highlight — late in the first quarter, he made a dive into the stands trying to save a loose ball. He landed in the second row, surprised a fan by taking a quick sip of her drink, and ran back on defense as play continued.

at Detroit 110, Toronto 107: Blake Griffin scored 25 points, Andre Drummond had 15 points and 17 rebounds and the Pistons completed a season sweep. Reggie Jackson added 20 points to help the Pistons win for the 14th time in their last 18 games.


Kawhi Leonard had 33 points for Toronto, and Fred VanVleet added 17 points. The Raptors have lost four of seven games.

at Miami 93, Charlotte 75: Goran Dragic scored 19 points off the bench, Dwyane Wade added 17 and came up with big plays late and the Heat found just enough offense to beat the Hornets in a game with major Eastern Conference playoff implications.

The win kept Miami (33-36) at the No. 8 spot in the East race — and moved the Heat two games up on No. 10 Charlotte (31-38), with 13 games left for both clubs.

The 168 combined points was the lowest in the NBA this season. Orlando and Chicago combined for 170 on Dec. 21. Charlotte’s 75 points were a season-low and tied the third-worst total in the NBA this season.


at Sacramento 129, Chicago 102: Marvin Bagley III had 21 points and nine rebounds, Buddy Hield added 16 points and inched closer to the Kings’ single-season record for three-pointers. Harrison Barnes scored 15 points, De’Aaron Fox had 17 and Harry Giles added 16 to help Sacramento complete a second straight season sweep of Chicago.

The Kings dominated in nearly every statistical category and outscored the Bulls 80-56 in the paint. Zach LaVine had 18 points for the struggling Bulls (19-52). Chicago has lost five straight.

at Orlando 101, Atlanta 91: Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Magic to victory. Aaron Gordon added 22 points and eight rebounds for Orlando, which remained a game behind Miami in the chase for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Wes Iwundu helped Orlando overcome 38.8% shooting with a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds. Trae Young led the Hawks with 20 points.