Sports Minute: Westbrook scores 31 as Rockets get 120-116 win over Bucks
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets used strong defense down the stretch for a 120-116 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.
It was the 36th straight game with at least 20 points for Westbrook, who led Houston's offense on a night James Harden scored 24.
Houston tied an NBA record for most 3-point attempts in a regulation game with 61, making 21 of them, and forced 22 turnovers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to have 15 games with at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a season in the last 50 years.
Khris Middleton scored 27 points and Brook Lopez added 23 as the Bucks missed a chance to clinch the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee led by one in the fourth quarter before Lopez scored the first four points of a 7-0 run that was capped by a 3 from Middleton to make it 112-104 with about 3 minutes remaining.
But Houston scored the next nine points, highlighted by a 3 and a steal from P.J. Tucker and a block by Harden on Antetokounmpo, to go on top 113-112 about a minute later.
Lopez ended Houston’s run with a basket in the paint to make it 114-113 with less than a minute to go.
Westbrook made two free throws before a shot by Antetokounmpo left Milwaukee up 116-115 with 16.5 seconds remaining.
Westbrook made two more free throws and Danuel House stole a pass from Antetokounmpo and was fouled. He added two free throws to leave Houston up 119-116 with 14 seconds left.
Middleton missed two 3-point attempts after that to allow Houston to hold on for the victory.
The Rockets were up by two after a basket by Westbrook with about 1 ½ minutesleft in the third quarter. Antetokounmpo and Kyle Korver hit late 3s to take a 90-89 lead into the fourth quarter.
Bucks: G Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton both missed their second straight games as they continue to get back in shape after testing positive for COVID-19. ... Milwaukee out-rebounded Houston 65-36.
Rockets: G Eric Gordon missed his second game with a sprained left ankle. ... Tucker missed his first six 3-pointers before making his first two attempts of the second half. He finished with 11 points.
Bucks: Play Brooklyn Tuesday.
Rockets: Play Portland Tuesday night.
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