Antetokounmpo sets franchise record as Bucks beat Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a franchise-record 64 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Indiana Pacers 140-126 in a game soured by a post-match fracas.


Antetokounmpo, 29, broke the record of 57 points set by Michael Redd in 2006 and added 14 rebounds.


The Greek superstar was involved in a post-match melee as he tried to retrieve the game ball from the Pacers.


The Bucks sit second in the Eastern Conference.
It was the second time the Bucks and the Pacers had met this month, with Indiana picking up a 128-119 victory at the semi-final stage of the in-season tournament on 7 December.


Tensions boiled over during the fourth quarter on Wednesday when Indiana’s Aaron Nesmith wrapped his arm around Antetokounmpo’s neck as he drove for the basket. A further flare-up came after the final buzzer when the Greek raced off the court to confront members of the Pacers team.


Antetokounmpo returned to the court to remonstrate with Tyrese Haliburton. Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle later said the incident was triggered by a misunderstanding about the game ball, which had been handed to rookie Oscar Tshiebwe for scoring his first NBA point off the bench.


“We were not thinking about Giannis’ franchise record so we grabbed the ball and a couple of minutes later several of their players ended up in our hallway,” Carlisle said.


“There was a big fracas, melee whatever. I don’t think any punches landed but our general manager got an elbow in the ribs from one of their players.


“Unfortunate situation. It didn’t need to escalate to that.


“Third time we’ve played these guys in the past two to three weeks so things are heated and I understand all that. But for it to come into the hallway… it didn’t need to happen that way.”


Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Lakers held off a late rally from French star Victor Wembanyama to beat the San Antonio Spurs 122-119.


Anthony Davis top-scored for the Lakers with 37 points, with Wembanyama scoring 30 as the Spurs fell to a franchise record-extending 18th straight defeat.


Joel Embiid put on 41 points with 11 rebounds to guide the Philadelphia 76ers to a 129-111 victory and consign the Detroit Pistons to a 21st straight defeat – matching the longest losing streak in the history of the franchise.


The Phoenix Suns had their ‘big three’ of Devin Booker, Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant playing together for the first time this season, but they still fell to a 116-112 loss at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets.


Booker registered 34 points, 12 assists and six rebounds as the Suns tasted defeat for the fifth time in seven games, while Durant put on 27 points in his first game against the Nets since being traded to the Suns in February.