Knicks win ninth straight, Bucks dominate struggling Sixers

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Julius Randle carried the offense, scoring 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the New York Knicks won their ninth NBA straight game by routing the Toronto Raptors 120-103 on Saturday.

The Knicks are in the midst of their longest winning streak in eight years, since they won 13 straight in the 2012-13 NBA season.

RJ Barrett scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and had 12 rebounds and Derrick Rose chipped in with 19 points for the Knicks, who also won their seventh consecutive home game.

New York shot 56 percent from the floor and made 16 shots from beyond the arc in front of the pandemic-limited crowd of 1,900 at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks improved to 34-27 on the season and are six and a half games behind the first place Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference. The 12th place Raptors dropped to 25-35.

Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby scored 27 apiece for Toronto, who saw a four-game winning streak halted. Pascal Siakam poured in 26 points, and VanVleet added 11 assists for the Raptors, who shot 43.4 percent from the floor.

Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers for the second time in three days -- a task that would have seemed a tall order for any team just a week ago.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points to move into second place in franchise history for points scored as the Bucks clobbered the short-handed Sixers 132-94 in Milwaukee.

Antetokounmpo also had 14 rebounds and seven assists as he passed Glenn Robinson to reach 12,023 in his career. Robinson finished with 12,010. Antetokounmpo trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211) for the club record.

The Bucks completed the three-game season sweep of the Sixers and now hold a playoff tiebreaker if both teams finish with the same record.

Milwaukee sits two-and-a-half games behind the Nets in the East.

The demands of the recent schedule have been extraordinarily tough for Philadelphia, who were without Ben Simmons for a fourth straight game with an illness.

Just prior to tip-off the Sixers learned star center Joel Embiid couldn't play because of a sore shoulder. Embiid has now missed 19 games this season.

Bobby Portis added 17 points, Bryn Forbes and Jordan Nwora each had 13 and Jrue Holiday had 12 points for the Bucks.

Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers with 15 points apiece. Seth Curry added 13 points and Dwight Howard chipped in 12 rebounds for 76ers, who have lost four straight.