Thursday recap: Irving sinks Bucks, Griffin buzzer-beater lifts Clippers
Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving silenced Milwaukee, while the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin came up big at the death in Portland.
The Bucks' past greatness and raw potential was on display as Giannis Antetokounmpo brought Milwaukee back to The MECCA for the first time since 1988.
But it was Kyrie Irving that dazzled the crowd at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena – formerly MECCA Arena – and led the Boston Celtics to a 96-89 victory on Thursday, spoiling the nostalgia for Milwaukee fans everywhere.
Irving did it all, hitting clutch three-pointers, made highlight-reel layups, threw quality extra passes and put multiple defenders in the spin cycle.
Irving finished the game with 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting and had seven assists. Al Horford led Boston with 27 points.
As for Antetokounmpo, he surpassed Lew Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points over the first five games of a season in Bucks history. The 22-yea
r-old finished with a game-high 28 points and now has 175 points through Milwaukee's first five outings, which is 14 more than Abdul-Jabbar had in 1971.
He is also the first player in NBA history to average 35 points, 10 rebounds and five assists through his first five games of a season.
Meanwhile, Blake Griffin made a three-pointer before time expired as the Los Angeles Clippers overcame the Portland Trail Blazers 104-103.
GASOL INSPIRES GRIZZLIES
Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol had 25 points on eight-of-16 shooting and collected 13 rebounds in Memphis' 96-91 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
MARKKANEN LIFTS BULLS TO FIRST WIN
The Chicago Bulls needed a hero and they got it via rookie Lauri Markkanen. Playing in his fourth NBA game, he nailed a three-pointer with 48.5 seconds remaining to help down the Atlanta Hawks 91-86.
GRIFFIN SILENCES RIP CITY
Just as the Trail Blazers were about to celebrate a victory, Griffin showed his class from the beyond the arc right on the buzzer.
Chicago Bulls 91-86 Atlanta Hawks
Memphis Grizzlies 96-91 Dallas Mavericks
Boston Celtics 96-89 Milwaukee Bucks
Los Angeles Clippers 104-103 Portland Trail Blazers
New Orleans Pelicans 114-106 Sacramento Kings
THUNDER AT TIMBERWOLVES
Talent-wise these two teams are pretty close on paper, but the Oklahoma City Thunder have played better so far. Expect a Minnesota Timberwolves team to come prepared for reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Co. on Friday.