Bucks hit back to beat San Antonio in NBA

Khris Middleton had a game-high 28 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA.
Khris Middleton had a game-high 28 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA.

Khris Middleton scored 28 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 21 for the Milwaukee Bucks as the defending NBA champions rebounded to hold off the San Antonio Spurs 121-111.

Coming off a 137-95 loss in Miami, the Bucks were able to stave off a series of rallies from the young Spurs.

"Just find a way to bounce back," Middleton said. "It's just how you adjust, how you respond to that. I think tonight, for the most part, the effort was in the right place."

Doug McDermott had a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points, and Keldon Johnson added 20 for San Antonio.

The Spurs have lost two straight after a season-opening victory at home over Orlando.

After the Spurs rallied within 109-95, Pat Connaughton hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Bucks a 115-95 lead with three minutes remaining.

"He does everything for us," Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Playing him 37 (minutes) this early in the season, that's tough.

"He's going to need to be in the ice bath for the next couple of days before we play Monday."

DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 18 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 97-82.

DeRozan put an exclamation point on his night, finishing a thunderous third quarter dunk despite getting hit in the face by Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo.

His efforts helped give the Bulls their first 3-0 start to a season since 2016.

"We're just going out there playing for each other," DeRozan said. "We knew offence is going to take a little time, but I'd rather it be this way now.

"We can continue to build defensively while the offence comes around."

After not playing much defence in the season's first two games, the Indiana Pacers were far more stingy against the Miami Heat.

The Pacers outscored the Heat 16-5 in overtime for a 102-91 victory night to avoid losing a third consecutive close game in which they blew a halftime lead.

CJ McCollum scored 28 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 134-105 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

McCollum's hot shooting set the pace for the Blazers to their first win of the season.

Damian Lillard finished with 19 points and eight assists, while Anfernee Simons pitched in 18 points off the bench.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 15 of his 25 points for Minnesota in the first quarter, before fouling out in frustration and being forced to watch the Timberwolves hang on for a 96-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Luka Doncic compiled 27 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds as the visiting Dallas Mavericks defeated the Toronto Raptors 103-95.

And after a stellar opening-night win, the Atlanta Hawks Hawks suffered a letdown loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 101-95.

In the final game, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114.

with Reuters

Australian Associated Press