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NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo makes injury return as Milwaukee Bucks beat Brooklyn Nets

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Star player Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points on his return from injury as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets 115-108.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player had missed the last two games with a hamstring problem.

Damian Lillard top-scored with 30 points and had two key steals in the final quarter as the Bucks held off a late Nets rally.

"Dame, defensively, was phenomenal all game," said Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers.

"He's a very competitive guy and you could see that tonight."

The game was tied at 96-96 with less than five minutes remaining when Lillard stole the ball from Brooklyn guard Cam Thomas and began a fast counter-attack, resulting in a three-pointer by Antetokounmpo.

Another steal from Lillard with one minute 41 seconds left set up a three-pointer for Malik Beasley.

The Bucks remain second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 45-25, 10 wins behind leaders the Boston Celtics.

Reigning NBA champions the Denver Nuggets moved level with Western Conference leaders the Oklahoma City Thunder after a 113-100 victory over the New York Knicks.

Michael Porter Jr top-scored with 31 points and Nikola Jokic finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his 22nd triple-double of the season.

Jalen Brunson scored 26 points for the Knicks, who suffered a first defeat in five games.

Luka Doncic scored 34 points as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 113-97 for a third successive victory.

Lauri Markkanen scored 21 points and Collin Sexton added 20 points off the bench for Utah, who have now lost four games running.

The Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to seven games with a 127-117 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Jalen Green scored 26 points and Dillon Brooks added 23 for the Rockets, with Ayo Dosunmu scoring a career-high 35 points for the Bulls.