NBA: Triple-doubles for Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden fuel Bucks, Nets

Antetokounmpo's triple-double was his second straight and his sixth of the season. He was just one of eight Bucks players to score in double figures as Milwaukee won their third straight game

Agence France-Presse March 14, 2021 11:41:02 IST
NBA: Triple-doubles for Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden fuel Bucks, Nets

James Harden scored his ninth triple-double since joining the Nets this season. AP

Giannis Antetokounmpo's triple-double of 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists propelled the Milwaukee Bucks to a 125-119 NBA victory over Washington on Saturday, despite Russell Westbrook's 42-point triple-double for the Wizards.

Westbrook added 10 rebounds and 12 assists for Washington, but even with his league-leading 11th triple-double of the season the Wizards missed the production of NBA leading scorer Bradley Beal, who sat out with a sore knee.

Jrue Holiday added 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for Milwaukee as the Bucks held on in the back-and-forth battle despite a fierce late challenge from the Wizards, who knotted the score at 119-119 with 41 seconds remaining.

Milwaukee's Khris Middleton made two free throws with 32.9 seconds to play then forced a driving Westbrook into a miss with 25 seconds left.

"No doubt, that's the game right there," Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. "You talk about wanting to win a game with stops and that's what we were able to do. I thought Khris was vertical, showed his hands.

"It's a tough drive. So it's great individual defense and it was a big stop and much needed."

On the other end, Middleton drained two more free throws to help the Bucks seal the win.

Antetokounmpo's triple-double was his second straight and his sixth of the season.

He was just one of eight Bucks players to score in double figures as Milwaukee won their third straight and solidify their hold on third place in the East behind the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets -- who beat the Detroit Pistons 100-95 on Saturday.

Aggressive Harden

James Harden scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter on the way to his ninth triple-double since joining the Nets this season.

Harden added 10 rebounds and 10 assists and the Nets hung on after the Pistons took a one-point lead with less than three minutes remaining to pull off the gritty win.

Kyrie Irving added 18 points for the Nets, who remained without star Kevin Durant as he recovers from a hamstring strain.

The game was tied at 92-92 with 1:47 remaining. Two Harden baskets -- the second after a steal by Irving, put the Nets up 96-92, and his floater with 19.1 seconds left put Brooklyn up 98-93.

Two free-throws from Harden effectively sealed the win.

"I had to be aggressive," Harden said. "Things weren't going great for us offensively. I think defensively we were playing hard and it showed, but it was one of those nights where we've just got to find a way to win.

"I just had to get to the basket and create something for myself and for our team. I just wanted to be a little more aggressive in the last two minutes."

The New York Knicks notched their 20th win of the season, 119-97 over the Thunder in Oklahoma City, on the back of Julius Randle's second triple-double of the season.

Randle scored 26 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists, becoming the first Knicks player since Mark Jackson in 1987-88 to post multiple triple-doubles in the same season.

"Obviously the Knicks have so much history and tradition, so to be a part of that is obviously a blessing for sure," Randle said.

RJ Barrett added a career-best 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting as the Knicks bounced back from a 33-point loss to the Bucks on Thursday.

"We just wanted to come out and be us," Barrett said. "We felt like in Milwaukee we didn't play our style, so today we came out, we played hard, made winning plays, and we got the job done."

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