Giannis Antetokounmpo returns as Bucks beat Hawks

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from injury to help the Milwaukee Bucks to an 11-point win in their keenly awaited visit to the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA on Thursday night.

In the battle of Eastern Conference high flyers, the third-placed Bucks beat the fourth-placed Hawks 120-109, with Antetokounmpo scoring 15 points in 25 minutes on court in his first game in seven due to knee soreness.

Jrue Holiday had 23 points for the Bucks, who led at every change to claim a third straight win, while Brook Lopez had 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Bogdan Bogdanovich had 28 points and Solomon Hill 18 for Atlanta.

Stephen Curry had 33 points for his ninth-straight 30-plus game in leading the Golden State Warriors to a 119-101 win at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Andrew Wiggins had 23 points and Juan Toscano-Anderson 20 for the Warriors, who set up the victory with a dominant 35-21 second quarter, while Draymond Green and Kevon Looney had 10 rebounds each.

Collin Sexton scored 30 points for Cleveland, while Darius Garland had 20 and Jarret Allen 17 alongside 14 rebounds.

The Warriors have moved up to ninth in the Western Conference after four straight wins, while the Cavaliers are 13th in the East after going 3-7 in their past 10 games.

The Phoenix Suns continued their hot streak with a 122-114 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The Suns are now 9-1 from their past 10 games and have won 10 home matches in a row, a surge which has lifted them to second in the Western Conference.

Deandre Ayton led the way with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 23 points.

The Kings, 12th in the West, were led by De’Aaron Fox’s 33 points, while Buddy Hield had 19.

In the night’s only other game, the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles continued with a 121-113 home defeat to the Boston Celtics.

The visitors got the jump on their hosts and led 61-48 at half time to set up the victory, with Jaylen Brown leading proceedings with 40 points – 25 more than second-highest team-mate Payton Pritchard.

LA, with stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis again watching on with their long-term injuries, had 19 points from Talen Horton-Tucker and 18 from Marc Gasol.

The Lakers are now fifth in the West with a 34-21 record, having gone 6-4 in their past 10.

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