LOS ANGELES - Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee’s rout of reigning National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Denver on Monday while Philadelphia snapped Cleveland’s nine-game win streak and rookie Victor Wembanyama delivered a historic triple-double.
Greek star Antetokounmpo scored 36 points and grabbed 18 rebounds while Damian Lillard added 18 points to lead the Bucks in a 112-95 home triumph over the injury-hit Nuggets.
The blowout came on a night when Philadelphia took a dramatic 123-121 victory at Cleveland to stun the NBA’s hottest team while French 2.24m superstar Wembanyama had 27 points, 14 rebounds and an NBA season-best 10 blocked shots in a 122-99 San Antonio victory at Toronto.
He is only the fourth rookie in league history to notch a triple-double that included blocked shots.
Meanwhile, Serbian big man Nikola Jokic, like Antetokounmpo a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, had 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who trailed 60-44 at halftime and lost two starters.
Denver’s Jamal Murray played only 18 minutes due to a leg injury and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope played only nine with a tight right hamstring.
The Bucks improved to 35-19, 3-5 under new coach Doc Rivers while Denver fell to 36-18, losing ground in a four-team fight for the Western Conference.
Minnesota (36-16) will visit the Los Angeles Clippers (35-16) later with the winner taking the conference lead.
At Cleveland, Kelly Oubre and Buddy Hield each scored 24 points and Oubre blocked Donovan Mitchell’s tying layup attempt with one second to play in the 76ers’ victory.
The Cavs (35-17) had won 17 of their prior 18 games but were denied their first 10-game win streak since 2017.
An Oubre three-pointer gave the Sixers a 120-110 lead with 1:25 to go but a Darius Garland three-pointer, a Mitchell three-point play and Mitchell’s trey with 14 seconds remaining lifted the Cavs within 120-119.
Ricky Council sank two free throws, Mitchell answered with two and Tyrese Maxey made one-of-two free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Oubre’s bloc...