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NBA playoffs: Bucks beat Magic; Thunder outlast Rockets in overtime

Bucks forward Marvin Williams (20) grabs Magic forward James Ennis III (11) as officials try to separate them during Game 3.
Referee Kevin Scott and Milwaukee assistant coach Darvin Ham try to separate the Bucks’ Marvin Williams and the Magic’s James Ennis III (11) during a scuffle in Game 3.
(Mike Ehrmann / Associated Press)

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Orlando Magic 121-107 on Saturday for a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Antetokounmpo made 12 of 14 from the field as the top-seeded Bucks shot 56.1%. Khris Middleton had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Monday.

“I was just trying to play hard,” Antetokounmpo said. “Obviously, it was an early game today. We played at 1 p.m., [when] usually we’re not as focused. When the game starts, we’re kind of a little bit lazy. I was trying to set the tone, play hard, guard my guy, take that individual challenge with my guy, trying to be active.”

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Game 3 included a second-quarter scuffle between Orlando forward James Ennis III and Milwaukee forward Marvin Williams, who were both ejected after exchanging shoves. The incident occurred as both players were heading back up the court after battling for rebounding position.

Ennis had been in the starting lineup for Orlando, which already was playing without forwards Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon, guard Michael Carter-Williams and center Mo Bamba because of a variety of injuries and illnesses. Williams is part of the Bucks’ strong group of reserves.

D.J. Augustin scored 24 points for Orlando. Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross added 20 points each.

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Brook Lopez added 16 points for the Bucks.

Thunder 119, Rockets 107 (OT): Dennis Schroder scored 29 points, Chris Paul added 26, and Oklahoma City dominated in overtime to beat Houston and cut its deficit in the Western Conference first-round series to 2-1.

James Harden scored 38 points for the Rockets but fouled out 53 seconds into overtime — the first time he has fouled out this season.

The Thunder scored the first 12 points of overtime, powered by two three-pointers from Paul, to take a 116-104 lead.

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While most Western Conference playoff teams have struggled to open the NBA playoffs, Houston finds its footing with cast-off talent to help James Harden.

Houston missed its first seven shots of overtime before Danuel House made a three-pointer with less than a minute left. By then it was too late.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Monday.

The Thunder had a balanced scoring attack, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander adding 23 points and Danilo Gallinari 20. Jeff Green had 22 points for the Rockets. They have played the entire series without Russell Westbrook, who is out with a strained right quadriceps.

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Heat 125, Pacers 115: Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, and Miami held off a furious rally to beat the Indiana and take a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Goran Dragic added 24 points, Bam Adebayo had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Tyler Herro scored 20 points for the Heat. They can sweep the series Monday.

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Malcolm Brogdon set career playoff highs with 34 points and 14 assists for the Pacers. T.J. Warren scored 23 points, and Victor Oladipo added 20.


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