Dennis Schroder has scored a season-high 38 points – eight in overtime – and the Boston Celtics took advantage of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence to beat the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks 122-113 on Friday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 27 with 11 rebounds for Boston, who have won four of five since opening the season 2-5.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP, Antetokounmpo was scratched about 90 minutes before the game at TD Garden with a right ankle sprain.
Tatum said that hearing The Greek Freak was out made him “locked in even more.”
“Guys played more free when they know they’re going to get an opportunity,” he said.
In New Orleans, James Harden highlighted a 39-point, 12-assist performance with a game-sealing three-pointer with 29 seconds left and the Brooklyn Nets rallied to beat the Pelicans 120-112 after blowing a 21-point lead.
“James did a great job tonight of just controlling the game,” Nets forward Kevin Durant said of Harden.
Durant himself scored 28 for Brooklyn, who’ve won seven of their last eight, but Aussie Patty Mills had a quiet game contributing just two rebounds and one assist in 25 minutes on court.
Compatriot Josh Giddey had a more productive night out in Oklahoma City. His seven points, five rebounds, and five assists helping the Thunder to a 105-103 win over the Sacramento Kings.
OKC overcame an 18-point deficit in the second half to win their fourth straight game, with Luguentz Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finishing with 22 points apiece.
In California, the Golden State Warriors improved to a league best 10-1 with a 119-93 success over the Chicago Bulls thanks to a 40-point outing from Steph Curry who hit nine of 17 from three-point range.
Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists in his return from a one-game suspension for his second triple-double of the season, leading the Denver Nuggets past the Atlanta Hawks 105-96.
Trae Young scored 30 points for Atlanta who have lost six straight.
In Los Angeles, the Lakers were without LeBron James and were comfortably beaten 107-83 by the Minnesota Timberwolves for whom Karl Anthony Towns scored a game-high 29 points.
Elsewhere, Kristaps Porzingis had a season-high 32 points, Luka Doncic had 32 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds and the Dallas Mavericks routed the San Antonio Spurs 123-109.
Devin Booker and Jae Crowder scored 17 points each, Chris Paul added 15 points and 12 assists and the Phoenix Suns dominated the Memphis Grizzlies 119-94 for their seventh straight victory.
The Charlotte Hornets beat the New York Knicks 104-96, the Portland Trail Blazers were 104-92 victors at the Houston Rockets, and the Cleveland Cavaliers enjoyed a 98-78 victory at home to the Detroit Pistons.