Giannis leads Bucks to big NBA win over Jokic's Nuggets

Giannis Antetokounmpo has registered 36 points, an equal season-high 18 rebounds and five assists as Milwaukee showcased their improved defence by trouncing Denver 112-95.

After losing five of their first six games under new coach Doc Rivers, the Bucks have won two straight by a combined margin of 53 points.

Monday's (Tuesday AEDT) blowout of the reigning NBA champions followed Milwaukee’s most lopsided victory of the season, a 120-84 rout of the Charlotte Hornets. This marks the first time this season the Bucks (35-19) have allowed fewer than 100 points in back-to-back games.

"This is team defence. Nobody can do it by himself. Right now, I feel like we are buying into that philosophy as a team," Antetokounmpo said.

Fellow NBA MVP Nikola Jokic had 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets (36-18).

The battle of the Western Conference top two went Minnesota's way, 121-100 over the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points, Anthony Edwards added 23 and the Timberwolves (37-16) pulled away to remain first with their third win in four games.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers (35-17) with 18 points apiece and James Harden added 17.

In Cleveland, second in the East hosted fifth and it was Philadelphia who came out on top, 123-121.

The Cavaliers' Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 36 points, while recent trade acquisition Buddy Hield and Kelly Oubre Jr. both had 24 for the 76ers.

Philadelphia (32-21), who are trying to stay afloat while waiting for reigning MVP Joel Embiid to return from knee surgery, halted Cleveland's (35-17) nine-game winning streak.

The hot hand of Australia's Josh Green continued in Dallas as the Mavericks stormed home in the final quarter to beat Washington 112-104.

The Mavs won the final term 34-16 and the Boomers star finished with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists from his 29 minutes of court time.

Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic led Dallas (31-23) with 26 points apiece, with the Slovenian also pulling down 11 boards and dishing out 15 assists.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points, Stephen Curry had 25 and Golden State beat Utah 129-107 without coach Steve Kerr.

Kerr was in Serbia to attend the funeral service for Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, who had a heart attack at a team dinner in Salt Lake City on January 16 and died the next day.

Elsewhere, there were wins for New Orleans, Houston, Charlotte and Chicago, while San Antonio stunned Toronto 122-99 with Victor Wembanyama's second NBA triple-double consisting of 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks.

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