NBA: Giannis, Bucks top Celtics in return; Fournier helps Magic cruise past Nets

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points and 15 rebounds to lift the Milwaukee Bucks to a 119-112 victory, while Orlando Magic turned a close game into a rout.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's double-double was his 19th straight, matching the longest streak in the NBA this season.   -  Twitter

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points and 15 rebounds to lift the Milwaukee Bucks to a 119-112 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday in the teams' first game of the NBA restart at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

Antetokounmpo's double-double was his 19th straight, matching the longest streak in the NBA this season -- set by the reigning league MVP himself from October 24 to November 29.

Khris Middleton had 18 points and Brook Lopez added 14 points and six blocks for the Bucks (54-12), who bolted out to a 17-2 lead before requiring a late push to seal the win.

Marcus Smart scored 23 points off the bench and Jaylen Brown added 22 for the Celtics (43-22), who saw their lead over fourth-place Miami (41-24) shrink to two games in the Eastern Conference. Boston's Jayson Tatum, who entered the contest averaging a team-leading 23.6 points per game, finished with five points on 2-of-18 shooting from the floor.

Antetokounmpo sank a short jumper to give Milwaukee a 107-105 lead before the officials rescinded what appeared to be his sixth foul of the evening while attempting to work through a screen. After Daniel Theis tied the game up for Boston, Antetokounmpo converted a three-point play and Middleton added a 3-pointer to push the Bucks' lead to 113-107 with about a minute left.

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Antetokounmpo answered Brown's three-point play with one of his own to effectively put the game away. Boston's Kemba Walker scored 16 points while logging just 19 minutes of playing time. The All-Star guard is nursing a sore left knee that has lingered since the start of the calendar year.

Smart made a putback and a three-point play on consecutive possessions to forge a tie at 80 before his 3-pointer on the Celtics' next possession gave them their first lead of the game late in the third quarter.

Antetokounmpo's emphatic one-handed dunk punctuated Milwaukee's fast start before Theis and Smart highlighted a surge by the Celtics, who trimmed their deficit to one at 34-33. The Bucks regained a double-digit advantage in short order, with Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo and Antetokounmpo each converting from beyond the arc early in the second quarter.


Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic turned a close game into a rout by scoring nine consecutive points late in the second quarter, and went on to beat the Brooklyn Nets 128-118 in the first game.

Evan Fournier had 24 points while Aaron Gordon posted a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) for the Magic (31-35), who moved past the Nets (30-35) into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Starters Nikola Vucevic (22 points) and D.J. Augustin (11 points) got into double digits for the Magic, as did reserves Jonathan Isaac (16 points) and Khem Birch (12 points).

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 24 points off the bench for the Nets, who remain six games ahead of the ninth-place Washington Wizards after the Wizards lost to Phoenix later in the day. Washington and Brooklyn face off on Sunday.

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Caris LeVert had 17 points, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen scored 14 points apiece, and Tyler Johnson added 11 points off the bench.

The Nets raced out to a 16-8 lead fewer than four minutes into the game. Orlando responded with its own 16-8 run during which Augustin and Vucevic scored five points apiece. A running layup by Markelle Fultz with two-and-a-half minutes left in the quarter gave the Magic their first lead at 29-27.

The two teams were separated by no more than five points through the first nine minutes of the second quarter before the Magic's surge. Five players scored a basket apiece during the run, including Fournier, whose 3-pointer put Orlando up 68-57.

LeVert made a buzzer-beating jumper to pull the Nets within 70-59 at halftime but Vucevic scored five points as the Magic opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run. A LeVert jumper brought the Nets within 86-70 with seven-and-a-half minutes left in the period, but Orlando went on a 21-7 run over the next five minutes to expand its lead to 107-77.

But the Magic went scoreless in the final seven minutes and Luwawu-Cabarrot scored eight points during a game-ending 18-0 run. Brooklyn had a chance to close within single digits but missed five straight 3-pointers in a 63-second span.

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