Milwaukee's Damian Lillard scored 45 points to lead the Bucks to a 141-135 NBA victory at Detroit

Washington (AFP) - Damian Lillard scored a season-high 45 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 31 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over NBA doormat Detroit 141-135 on Saturday.

Lillard, who arrived from Portland in a pre-season trade, had 11 assists and made 12-of-22 shots from the floor, 5-of-11 from 3-point range, and hit all 16 of his free throw attempts.

“When the game started, I felt like I had a good warm-up, a good rhythm to the game,” Lillard said. “Saw a couple shots go in and I just felt good.”

Lillard became the first player in Bucks history with 40 or more points, 10 or more assists and five 3-pointers in a single game and did so three nights after Milwaukee was thumped 135-95 at Cleveland.

“I knew it was an important game. I picked my spots. I moved the ball when I needed to move it. I attacked when I needed to attack,” Lillard said.

“I’ve been slowly getting back to how I play more naturally and tonight was one of those nights.”

Greek star Antetokounmpo added 10 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and a blocked shot for visiting Milwaukee, which improved to 29-13, three games behind Boston for the Eastern Conference lead.

Alec Burks scored 33 points off the bench, hitting 7-of-14 3-point shots, to lead Detroit, which fell to a league-worst 4-38.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid had his 20th consecutive game since mid-November with at least 30 points, scoring 33 while grabbing 10 rebounds for Philadelphia in a 97-89 victory at Charlotte.

The Cameroonian star sank 11-of-23 shots from the floor and 11-of-12 from the free throw line with five assists and three blocked shots for the 76ers.

Miles Bridges led the Hornets with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a game-high 33 points to power the Oklahoma City Thunder over Minnesota 102-97, lifting the visitors (29-13) within a game of the host Timberwolves (30-12) for the Western Conference lead.

An “SGA” 3-pointer with 74 seconds remaining gave the Thunder a 96-94 lead. Rudy Gobert sank a free throw for Minnesota but Jalen Williams made four free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal Oklahoma City’s victory.

Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 38 points while Julius Randle added a triple double with 18 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the host New York Knicks over Toronto 126-100.

- Wemby leads Spurs’ win -

French rookie star Victor Wembanyama scored a game-high 24 points, pulled down eight rebounds, blocked six shots and passed off four assists to spark the San Antonio Spurs over host Washington 131-127.

San Antonio's Victor Wembanyama, left, high-fives Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in the second half of an NBA victory at Washington

The 20-year-old, 7-foot-4 (2.24m) center was the top pick in last year’s NBA Draft and his seven points led a closing 22-6 run over the final five minutes by the Spurs (8-34) to defeat the Wizards (7-34) in a matchup of the NBA’s second- and third-worst clubs.

“His whole game was fantastic,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Wembanyama. “His rebounding, his shot – it ain’t pretty but it goes in more than most of our guys. He does a hell of a job in a lot of ways at both ends of the court.”

Turkish center Alperen Sengun had game highs of 37 points and 14 rebounds to spark the Houston Rockets over visiting Utah 127-126 in overtime.

Sengun’s two free throws with 20 seconds remaining sent the game into overtime at 115-115 and his 3-point play with 52 seconds left in overtime lifted the Rockets level at 126-126.

Jabari Smith put Houston ahead with a free throw and Utah’s Jordan Clarkson, who led the Jazz with 33 points, missed a jumper on the final shot to give the Rockets the victory.

Donovan Mitchell and reserve Sam Merrill each scored 18 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over host Atlanta 116-95.

DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points and Ayo Dosunmu added 20 off the bench to lead Chicago in a 125-96 home victory over Memphis.