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Westbrook scores 31 as Rockets get 120-116 victory over Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo drives on Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker during Sunday night’s game. (AP Photo)

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 1/2 minutesleft in the third quarter. Antetokounmpo and Kyle Korver hit late 3s to take a 90-89 lead into the fourth quarter.

TIP-INS

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.

UP NEXT

Bucks: Play Brooklyn Tuesday.

Rockets: Play Portland Tuesday night.

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