LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Giannis Antetokounmpo recovered from a slow start to score 30 points and grab 13 rebounds on Thursday (Feb 21) as the Milwaukee Bucks returned from the All-Star break to earn a 98-97 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the visiting Boston Celtics.
Khris Middleton scored 15 points for the Bucks, including a tie-breaking three-pointer with 32.5 seconds remaining, and Malcolm Brogdon also finished with 15 points.
The Bucks improved their NBA-best record to 44-14 while winning for the 15th time in their past 17 games and the ninth time over their past 10 games.
Kyrie Irving scored 22 points and Al Horford added 21 for the Celtics. Irving had missed the last two games before the break with a knee strain, although he did play 25 minutes on Sunday in the All-Star Game. Irving made a layup with 27.5 seconds left to cut Boston’s deficit to one, but he missed a wild left-handed shot for the win at the buzzer.
Elsewhere, in his third game back since missing 50 games this season, Kevin Love scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Cleveland to a 111-98 victory over visiting Phoenix.
Cedi Osman led Cleveland with 19 points. Ante Zizic finished with a double-double, scoring 15 and grabbing 12 rebounds.
The loss was the 16th straight for the Suns, a franchise record. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 30 points, and Kelly Oubre Jr., who got his first start with the Suns since a December trade from Washington, added 23 points.
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