NBA wrap: LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo yields big numbers, but only one winner

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 40 points, but LeBron James came up huge down the stretch to help Cavaliers knock off Bucks.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (centre) drives between Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) and Matthew Dellavedova on Tuesday.   -  AP

The NBA's schedule on Tuesday night read, "Bucks at Cavaliers, 7 p.m.," but let's face it — many of the casual fans who tuned in to watch this game wanted to see LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo. King James, the four-time NBA MVP vs the Greek Freak, a likely future NBA Most Valuable Player.

Both players played like superstars and put up some big numbers, but at the end of the night, only one went home the winner. Final score: Cavaliers 124, Bucks 119.

Read: Celtics holds off Hawks for ninth straight win

Antetokounmpo finished with 40 points (16-of-21 shooting), nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists. But he also had eight turnovers.

As he does every game, Antetokounmpo did some mega-athletic things that made fans hit the rewind button, including a couple of spectacular slams and, oh yeah, a nice chase-down block on James.

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James, who finished with 30 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals, came up huge down the stretch, scoring 10 points in the final 5:11 to hold off a couple of Bucks' charges.

All the premature talk about "What's wrong with the Cavaliers?" is just noise at this point. Cavaliers (5-6) is going to be just fine. Bucks, despite a 4-6 record, appears headed for a playoff berth as well behind the spectacular play of Antetokounmpo.

Studs of the night

The two-headed beast of Anthony Davis (37 points, 14 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (32 and 13) ran wild to lead Pelicans to a 117-112 win over Pacers.

Dud of the night

Nets guard D'Angelo Russell turned the ball over eight times in Brooklyn's 112-104 loss to Nuggets. He hit 6 of 14 shots, including 0 for 3 from behind the arc, to finish with 12 points, well below his 21.3 season average.


Nice steal, Ben Simmons, and an even nicer slam.

What's next

Lakers (5-5) at Celtics (9-2) — Celtics has won nine straight with newcomer Kyrie Irving running the show. Lakers has won three of four with rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma playing well. It's not exactly Bill Russell against Wilt the Stilt or Magic vs. Bird, but this is still one of the league's marquee long-term rivalries and a good early season matchup for fans.

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