MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored eight points in 17 minutes in his preseason debut for the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, who had eight players score in double digits in a 130-110 victory against the Oklahoma Thunder on Sunday night.
The Bucks are being careful with Antetokounmpo, who hyperextended his left knee in the Eastern Conference finals but returned for the NBA Finals. He was named Finals MVP after leading the Bucks to the title in six games against the Phoenix Suns.
“It feels good. I’m not going to lie. It feels good to be a part of the team, just go out there, run up and down, make some plays, just being around the team, being here at Fiserv," said Antetokounmpo, who mentioned several times that the felt “rusty.”
Asked where he felt rusty, he said: “Everywhere. My legs, back, hands. But it’s OK. I’m getting back to it.”
The Bucks scored 48 points in the first quarter and 81 in the first half.
Khris Middleton (14 points) and Jrue Holiday (11 points) also made their preseason debuts for the Bucks.
“Everybody was motivated. Everybody was ready to go," Antetokounmpo said.
Jordan Nwora led the Bucks with 14 points and Elijah Bryant also scored 14.
Luguentz Dort scored 19 for the Thunder.
SUNS 123, LAKERS 94
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With LeBron James of the Lakers resting, the defending Western Conference champion Suns ran past the Lakers 123-94.
Chris Paul scored 15 for the Suns while Landry Shamet had 13 and Javale McGee and Jalen Smith had 12 apiece.
Anthony Davis scored 19 for the Lakers while Carmelo Anthony had 17.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said James plans to play in the final two exhibition games, against Golden State on Tuesday and at Sacramento on Thursday.
Devin Booker of the Suns sat out his third straight games as he works his way back from case of COVID-19, despite being vaccinated, and a busy summer that included going straight from the NBA Finals and the Suns' six-game loss to Milwaukee to joining the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal.
SPURS 101, MAGIC 100
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Dejounte Murray scored 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting and Lonnie Walker IV scored 16 and San Antonio held off a late Orlando flurry.
The Spurs entered the fourth quarter with an 81-64 advantage and maintained the 17-point lead until R.J. Hampton’s tip-in with 7:24 left started a 13-0 run for Orlando in just more than two minutes. Orlando’s Wendell Carter Jr. converted a 3-point play to tie it at 98-all before Keita Bates-Diop made a 3-pointer with 1:02 left to seal it for San Antonio.
Keldon Johnson added 12 points for the Spurs.
Terrence Ross scored 20 points for Orlando, Mo Bamba 16 with 10 rebounds and Carter 14 on 6-for-8 shooting.
BULLS 102, CAVALIERS 101
CLEVELAND (AP) – Demar DeRozan scored 23 points and Alize Johnson scored 14 with 11 rebounds in Chicago’s win over Cleveland.
Devon Dotson hit a 3-pointer to bring Chicago within 99-98 with 1:20 left and Ayo Dosunmu made a layup to give the Bulls the lead for good. Following a Cavs turnover, Dosunmu hit a short shot to clinch it with 13.8 seconds left.
Zach Levine added 13 points for the Bulls.
Lauri Markkanen scored 18 for Cleveland, Evan Mobley 15 and Jarrett Allen 12 on 6-for-8 shooting.
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