The NBA is barely taking a breath at the moment. The latest chapters in the hunt for records were written by Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A mischievously grinning Luka Doncic, 71-point man Donovan Mitchell, triple-double hunter Nikola Jokic, and a LeBron James who doesn’t want to grow old – the highlight reels in the NBA are filled day by day this season. On Tuesday night (local time), three games were enough for two records – and a near-buzzer beater. In order …

Boring or phenomenal? Giannis owns crunch time

Giannis Antetokounmpo, star centre in the service of the Milwaukee Bucks (24-13), set a personal best in the 123-113 home win over the Washington Wizards (17-22). The Greek, the league’s most valuable player in 2019 and 2020, scored 55 points for the first time in his career. He didn’t let the Wizards back into the game in the fourth quarter with 19 points – 12 of them as the lone scorer in crunch time – and has now crossed the 40-point barrier in three straight games.

Antetokounmpo, who sank 20 shots from the field, also showed hardly any nerves from the free-throw line (15/16), collected ten rebounds and seven assists – and sweetened the evening for Bucks fans with some spectacular sacrifices.

“I want to get to the point where my game is boring,” the matchwinner found an interesting explanation for his consistently good performances afterwards. “I just do what I do and people don’t talk about it anymore because it gets boring – and I do that every night. That’s what I want to do.” Head coach Mike Budenholzer turned the tables on the Bucks, and for his part spoke of “determination and willingness” in the “phenomenal” Greek, who keeps his Bucks close to the top of the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics go down to defeat

Meanwhile, Eastern Conference leaders Boston lost for the second time in a row – and badly. The Celtics suffered a 117-150 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were without their top scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was ill and fell to 26-12. OKC compensated for the absence of “SGA” with an impressive team performance: Five players around shooting guard Josh Giddey (25) scored more than 20 points, and seven were in double figures in the end. The 150 points also represent a new team’s best. After the former Supersonics’ move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, the franchise has never scored that many points.

Fox puts the ball in in the final second

The third game of the evening was a thriller. The Sacramento Kings (20:16) won 117-115 at the stumbling Utah Jazz thanks to an acrobatic basket by De’Aaron Fox (37 points) with 0.4 seconds left. Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (28 points) was then very unlucky: his final jump shot fell through the hoop and was initially counted, but a video study revealed that the Finn had not got the ball out of his hand in time.