NBA wrap: Bucks top Rockets; Clippers clinch playoff spot

Rockets star James Harden and the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo have been front-runners for MVP for most of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 points and racked up 14 rebounds in Milwaukee Bucks' win over Houston Rockets.   -  (Getty Images)

Tuesday was an exciting night in the NBA.

Two league MVP contenders faced off, and yet another Western Conference team clinched a playoff berth.

Houston Rockets star James Harden and Milwaukee Bucks talisman Giannis Antetokounmpo have been the front-runners for MVP for most of the season. Milwaukee claimed a 108-94 victory against Houston at Fiserv Forum.

Antetokounmpo scored 19 points and racked up 14 rebounds in his team's win. Eric Bledsoe recorded a team-high 23 points, though. Harden had an off night, scoring 23 points on just 9-of-26 shooting.

 

If the Bucks and Rockets meet again, it'll be in the NBA Finals.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Clippers clinched a spot in the postseason with a 122-111 win over the Timberwolves.

Los Angeles' Danilo Gallinari led all scorers with 25 points, which helped his team fight off solid scoring performances from Karl-Anthony Towns (24) and Andrew Wiggins (22).

 

Time is winding down. The Jazz, Thunder, Spurs and Kings are still looking to punch their tickets to the playoffs in the Western Conference.

Studs of the Night

Kemba Walker's 38 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists powered the Charlotte Hornets to a 125-116 overtime victory over San Antonio Spurs.

 

Trae Young tallied 33 points and 12 assists, leading Atlanta Hawks past New Orleans Pelicans, 130-120.

 

Jamal Murray scored a game-high 33 points in Denver Nuggets' 95-92 victory against Detroit Pistons.

Duds of the Night

Jeremy Lin scored two points on 1-of-9 shooting, but Toronto Raptors beat Chicago Bulls, 112-103.

Kelly Olynyk only managed four points on 1-of-7 shooting in Miami Heat's 104-99 loss to Orlando Magic.

Highlights

Lance Stephenson's handles sent Washington's Jeff Green stumbling all the way to the baseline.

 

Dwight Powell reached back to finish this alley-oop in the Mavericks' 125-121 loss to the Kings.

 

What's Next?

Pacers (45-29) at Thunder (43-31) 8 p.m. ET — Fourth-seeded Indiana has already clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Oklahoma City, however, hasn't accomplished this yet. The Thunder are seventh in the Western Conference and will face a cold Pacers team that has lost four of their last five games.