NBA: Bucks beat Celtics 127-121, take over 2nd place in East | Loop Jamaica

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday each scored 29 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 127-121 in the NBA on Thursday night to take over second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Bucks (50-30) scored the final nine points to move a half-game ahead of the Celtics (50-31) and a full game ahead of Philadelphia (49-31), who lost at Toronto on Thursday.

Milwaukee withstood a triple-double from Jaylen Brown, who had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Marcus Smart shot 7 of 12 from 3-point range and was the Celtics’ leading scorer with a season-high 29 points. Daniel Theis had 22 points.

Khris Middleton had 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo had 11 rebounds and five assists. Holiday had eight rebounds and eight assists.

WARRIORS 128, LAKERS 112

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 33 points with six 3-pointers and Golden State Warriors won their third straight after dropping four in a row, running away late from depleted Los Angeles Lakers.

Jordan Poole added 19 points and a career-high 11 assists for the Warriors in their final regular-season home game.

Talen Horton-Tucker scored a career-high 40 points on 15-for-28 shooting to lead a Lakers team missing LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook. Los Angeles have lost eighth in a row.

RAPTORS 119, 76ERS 114

TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 37 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his third career triple-double, Gary Trent Jr. scored 30 points and Toronto Raptors beat Philadelphia 76ers.

Siakam shot 14 for 28, going 1 for 7 from 3-point range. He made 8 for 10 free throws.

Precious Achiuwa scored 20 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers, and Scottie Barnes had 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Raptors win for the seventh time in eight games.

Joel Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and James Harden had 13 points and 15 assists for the 76ers, whose hopes of winning the Atlantic Division title took a hit.

NUGGETS 122, GRIZZLIES 109

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 35 points, Aaron Gordon had 22 and Denver Nuggets beat Memphis Grizzlies to wrap up a playoff spot.

The Nuggets clinched a top-six spot in the Western Conference playoffs and avoided the four-team play-in. They can still win the Northwest Division with a victory Sunday night against the Lakers and two losses by Utah.

Desmond Bane had 14 points for the Grizzlies, who were coming off an overtime loss at Utah on Wednesday night, have already captured the first division title in their history along with securing the second seed in the West.

TIMBERWOLVES 127, SPURS 121

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards set a career high with 49 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Minnesota Timberwolves beat San Antonio Spurs.

Edwards was 16 of 28 from the field, making 6 of 14 from 3-point range.

Keldon Johnson had 20 points for San Antonio.

HORNETS 128, MAGIC 101

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — LaMelo Ball had 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and Charlotte Hornets routed short-handed Orlando Magic.

Charlotte pulled within one game of Atlanta and Brooklyn, who are tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with two games left in the regular season. The Hornets have already locked up a spot in the play-in tournament. At 41-39, they guaranteed their first non-losing season since 2015-16.

Chuma Okeke had 20 points for Orlando.

PELICANS 127, TRAIL BLAZERS 94

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 23 points in 29 minutes against his former team and New Orleans Pelicans beat Portland Trail Blazers to move closer to clinching a home play-in game.

The victory, combined with San Antonio’s loss at Minnesota, left New Orleans needing either one more victory or one more Spurs loss to lock up a home play-in game Wednesday.

Drew Eubanks scored 20 points for Portland.