Porter scores 50, Rockets stun Bucks after Giannis exits
HOUSTON (AP) — Kevin Porter Jr. scored a career-high 50 points, and the NBA-worst Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 143-136 on Thursday night after Giannis Antetokounmpo left less than a minute into the game with a sprained ankle.
Houston snapped a five-game losing streak on the back of a dazzling performance from Porter, who scored 32 points in the second half and 17 in the fourth quarter. The 20-year-old's previous career best was 30 points as a rookie with Cleveland last season.
"After I saw the third 3 go down, I knew it was going to be a special night," Porter said. "It was all up to me. I just stayed aggressive, and it was a good night."
Antetokounmpo played just 46 seconds. On a driving layup, he appeared to step on the foot of Kelly Olynyk, rolling what was already an injured ankle. He limped to the locker room and spent a few minutes there before returning to the bench, where he sat for the rest of the game.
Antetokounmpo entered the game listed as probable with a right ankle sprain.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said the new injury was a sprain and that the team is hopeful it's not serious. Budenholzer said the team would see how the ankle responds to treatment and go from there.
Houston trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half but surged in the second half on hot shooting from 3-point range. Houston made 25 of 46 3-pointers, good for a season-high 54.3%.
Porter also had 11 assists. Christian Wood had 31 points and nine rebounds, and Kelly Olynyk added 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Porter said it was his first 50-point game since he was in fourth grade. He went 9 of 15 from 3-point range.
"For him to be successful, he's going to have to be someone who can make those shots," Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. "Just seeing the hard work that he puts in was great."
Milwaukee's Khris Middleton had 33 points and eight assists, and Jrue Holiday had 29 points and 10 assists. Bryn Forbes scored a career-high 30 points off the bench, including 18 in the first half.
"At the end of the day, it's us five guys on the court," Holiday said. "Once you step on that court, you all need to be on the same page. Tonight, in the fourth quarter, yeah, we tried to step up and play defense a lot harder, but you have to do that the whole game."
Milwaukee led 73-65 at halftime after Houston closed out the half on a 20-4 run.
The Rockets opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to take their first lead. They entered the fourth quarter ahead 104-98.
"I think our execution can be a lot better, but they played at a high level and made shots at a really high level," Budenholzer said. "There's a point where you have to give credit to them, and they were very good offensively tonight."
NETS 130, PACERS 113
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Durant scored a season-high 42 points, including 22 in the third quarter, and Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn glided over depleted Indiana.
Playing without Kyrie Irving and James Harden, the Nets built a double-digit lead by the second quarter and were never seriously threatened.
Durant hit 16 of 24 shots and had 10 assists in his eighth start since being sidelined for nearly two months with a hamstring injury. It was the All-Star forward's third game of 30 points or more since his return, which was also interrupted for three games by a thigh injury.
Alize Johnson had 20 points and 21 rebounds for Brooklyn.
Caris LeVert scored 12 of his 36 points in the first quarter for the Pacers, who lost point guard Malcolm Brogdon in the second quarter with a sore hamstring.
TIMBERWOLVES 126, WARRIORS 114
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ricky Rubio scored 26 points and rookie Anthony Edwards added 25 as the Minnesota beat Golden State.
Minnesota extended its season-long winning streak to four games. Edwards scored 18 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Stephen Curry overcame early shooting struggles to finish with 37 points for Golden State. Andrew Wiggins added 27 points in his first game in Minnesota since he was traded by the Timberwolves last season.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Wolves.
NUGGETS 121, RAPTORS 111
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 19 points and 11 rebounds in just three quarters to lead Denver past Toronto.
Michael Porter Jr. scored 23 points for the Nuggets, who had seven players score in double figures and used a 31-8 run over the third and fourth quarters to win their fourth straight.
Jokic's double-double was his 53rd of the season.
OG Anunoby scored 25 points for the Raptors and Kyle Lowry had 20.
MAVERICKS 115, PISTONS 105
DETROIT (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 42 points, helping Dallas beat Detroit.
Trey Burke added 15 points for Dallas, which moved a game ahead of Portland for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference. The Mavericks' Luka Doncic missed the game because of a left elbow issue, and the Pistons were without their leading scorer as well in Jerami Grant.
Isaiah Stewart and Frank Jackson scored 20 points apiece for the Pistons.
Dallas has won five of six.
PELICANS 109, THUNDER 95
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Zion Williamson scored 27 points and New Orleans beat Oklahoma City.
Williamson also had eight rebounds and six assists. Brandon Ingram added 24 points for New Orleans, which won for the third time in nine games.
Lu Dort scored 17 points, Theo Maledon added 16 and Moses Brown grabbed 18 rebounds for the Thunder.