Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and Damian Lillard added 32 as the Milwaukee Bucks beat Miami 131-124 on Tuesday to reach the round of 16 of the NBA In-Season Tournament.
On the final night of the group stage of the inaugural NBA World Cup, the Bucks won the Eastern Group B crown 4-0, taking the top seed in the Eastern Conference in the fight to reach next month’s semi-finals in Las Vegas. Las Vegas.
“We accomplished the task,” said Khris Middleton of Milwaukee. “To get to Vegas now, we have to do a little more.
“We want it. We’re hungry for it. It’s an exciting time for us. We want to go to Vegas so we’re happy.”
The quarterfinals will find Boston at Indiana and New Orleans at Sacramento on Monday, New York at Milwaukee and Phoenix at the Los Angeles Lakers next Tuesday.
Boston beat Chicago 124-97 to win East Group C and advance while New York, second to Milwaukee in Group B, beat Charlotte 115-91 and advanced as a wild card based on ‘a point differential superior to Cleveland 42-29.
Sacramento beat Golden State 124-123 to win West Group C, coming back from 24 points down in the second quarter to advance.
The Warriors knew they had to win by 12 points to win the group in the tiebreaker and took a 72-55 lead into halftime before the Kings, led by 29 points from De’Aaron Fox, rally late to close the gap. slip the triumph.
“We still wanted to win the game, it counts for the regular season, but we knew what the number was,” Fox said.
Phoenix took a wildcard spot in the West when Minnesota beat Oklahoma City 106-103, while New Orleans won West Group B when the Dallas Mavericks beat Houston 121-115.
In Miami, the Bucks opened a 15-2 lead, Miami responded with a 16-4 run, then Milwaukee closed the first quarter on a 12-4 spurt for a 31-22 lead.
“We’re off to a good start, but it’s tough,” Middleton said.
“You’re just not going to knock a team down in the first five minutes. They did a great job coming back. We did a great job keeping our composure and finding a way to close this thing out.”
Miami, without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro due to ankle sprains, led 97-93 after three quarters.
Middleton, who had 17 points and eight rebounds, hit back-to-back jumpers for a four-point lead and dunks from Brook Lopez and Antetokounmpo settled things.
“Luckily I was able to make a few shots,” Middleton said.
“I’m just happy we won a tough game.”
Antetokounmpo made 11 of 16 from the floor and 10 of 13 from the free throw line and grabbed 10 rebounds with five assists while Lillard, 9 of 18 from the floor and 10 of 10 from the line, added nine assists decisive.
In New York, Julius Randle scored 25 points and grabbed 20 rebounds while Immanuel Quickley had 23 points coming off the bench to spark the Knicks.
Boston needed a lopsided win to advance and got it as Jaylen Brown scored 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists to lead the hosts against Chicago.
Jayson Tatum added 21 points and Al Horford 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Celtics.
– Injuries affect the Warriors –
Golden State’s Chris Paul exited in the first quarter with left lower leg soreness and Gary Payton II injured his right calf in the third quarter at Sacramento, which had lost two previous meetings with the Warriors this season.
Golden State’s Draymond Green, returning from a five-game suspension for putting Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert in a headlock, received a technical foul in the fourth quarter for challenging the referee’s calls.
Dallas star Luka Doncic led Houston with 41 points, nine rebounds and nine assists while Kyrie Irving added 27 points for the Mavs, keeping the Rockets winless on the road this season.
Minnesota (13-4), season leader in the Western Conference, retained first place by beating Oklahoma City (11-6).
Anthony Edwards, who left the game with a bruised right hip, led the Timberwolves with 21 points while Gobert added 17 points and 16 rebounds.
But Phoenix won the West wild card with a 34-0 point differential against Minnesota.