Giannis Antetokounmpo, 25 and 6ft 11in, tightened his hold on this season’s NBA MVP award on Thursday. The Greek giant finished with a double double of 33 points and 16 rebounds as his Milwaukee Bucks trounced the Detroit Pistons.
In winning 126-106 the high-flying Bucks took their win-loss record this season to an impressive 47-8.
That stretched their lead over the Toronto Raptors (40-15) in the Eastern Conference. It also outshone the Western Conference leaders, the LA Lakers (41-12) and cemented the Bucks place as New Jersey’s betting favourite.
A good example; Unibet one of the state 18 online sportsbooks, is currently quoting odds of +240 on the Bucks winning the Championship. LA Lakers are second at +300 and L Clippers third at +330
Antetokounmpo is also a bookie favourite – in his case, a very big one. Unibet and 888sport are just two of NJ sportsbooks who are quoting -455 on him winning the MVP Award with their next best, Luke Doncic, way back at +800’
Antetokounmpo wasn’t the Bucks only high class performer on Thursday. Khris Middleton poured in 28 points. Eric Bledsoe went eight-of-14 from the field for 19 points and Brook Lopez contributed 18 for the Bucks.
The Houston Rockets meanwhile were never troubled by the Golden State Warriors as they cruised home with 135-105 victory.
James Harden (29 points and 10 assists) and Russell Westbrook (21 points and 10 assists) finished with double-doubles.
All five of Houston’s starters finished with double-digits for points, with Robert Covington adding 20.
- Trae Young grabbed a career-high 50 points in the Atlanta Hawks’ narrow 129-124 win over the Miami Heat. Young went eight-of-15 from three-point range in a dazzling display.
- Joel Embiid’s double-double of 39 points and 16 rebounds helped the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 in overtime.
- Malik Monk’s 25 points off the bench helped the Charlotte Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 103-93. The Bulls’ loss was their seventh straight and leaves them with a 19-37 record and in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee Bucks 126-106 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 129-124 Miami Heat
Philadelphia 76ers 112-104 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 103-93 Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings 129-125 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 135-105 Golden State Warriors
Grizzlies at Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers (41-12) resume their campaign against the Memphis Grizzlies (28-27) at the Staples Center on Friday.
— NBA (@NBA) February 21, 2020