Giannis Dominates as Bucks Rise, 76ers Stumble Again

Giannis Dominates as Bucks Rise, 76ers Stumble Again Photo: TT
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks against Indiana Pacers' JaKarr Sampson (14) during the second half of an NBA basketball game

Giannis Antetokounmpo offered a warning sign ahead of the NBA playoffs with a dominant 40-point display as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Indiana Pacers 142-133 on Thursday.

The Greek forward scored 40 points whilst shooting at 75 per cent from the field, along with having 15 rebounds and six assists.

Antetokounmpo’s impact was significant, helping the Bucks improve to 45-25 and stay in touch with the Brooklyn Nets who are second in the Eastern Conference.

The NBA playoffs are just around the corner so sides are jostling for seedings.

The Philadelphia 76ers had appeared certain to lock in top seeding in the East but they have stumbled recently, including a 106-94 loss to the in-form Miami Heat on Thursday.

Joel Embiid was back after illness but only managed six points with rebounds and one assist as the Heat beat up the 76ers, led by veteran Udonis Haslem who was ejected.

Jimmy Butler top scored with 21 points while Bam Adebayo had 18 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in a fine performance.

The 76ers should still confirm top spot with two matches against the lowly Orlando Magic to come, needing only to win one of them.

Lower playoffs spots and the play-in tournament is continuing to be confirmed, although the Los Angeles Lakers are scrambling to avoid the latter competition.

Their case was boosted after the Portland Trail Blazers went down 118-117 to the Phoenix Suns although CJ McCollum almost won the game on the buzzer.

That result leaves Portland in sixth with a 41-30 record, while the Lakers are seventh on 40-30 in the West.

The Denver Nuggets reiterated their top four credentials with a 114-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, which MVP favourite Nikola Jokic dominated with 31 points and 14 rebounds.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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