The Milwaukee Bucks continued their irrepressible form despite the absence of star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo with victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Though Antetokounmpo was unavailable due to the birth of his first child, the Bucks won 123-111 for a fifth straight win which leaves them six-and-a-half games clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee, for whom Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe both finished with 28 points and eight assists, blasted out of the gates to build a 38-24 lead after the first quarter, and while the Kings hit back to lead by a point at half-time, the home team responded in style and ended up winning comfortably.
Harrison Barnes top-scored with 23 points for Sacramento, who are wallowing in 12th spot in the West.
Milwaukee are not the only team in the East in scintillating form.
Third-placed Boston, who were not in action on Monday, are on a seven game winning streak, while second-placed Toronto extended their franchise-record run of successive victories to 15 with a a resounding 137-126 home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Give All-Star @pskills43 space?
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 11, 2020
Pascal Siakam paced Toronto with 34 points, while OG Anunoby scored a career-high 25 points and matched his career-high 12 rebounds, and Kyle Lowry finished with 27 points and 11 assists.
Karl-Anthony Towns recorded a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota but it was not enough to prevent his side from slumping to yet another defeat.
The Timberwolves beat the LA Clippers last time out but Monday’s defeat was their 14 loss in their last 15 games.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 11, 2020
The Brooklyn Nets won an Eastern Conference mid-table thriller 106-105 at the Indiana Pacers.
Both teams were neck-and-neck at each break, and the lead changed hands three times in the final 27 seconds, but the Nets snatched victory when Spencer Dinwiddie made a 21-foot jump shot with five seconds left.
Dinwiddie contributed 21 points and 11 assists to lead the Nets, while Domantas Sabonis’ claimed a triple-double of 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Pacers, who have now lost six on the trot.
The Los Angles Lakers continue to set the pace in the West after brushing aside Phoenix Suns 125-100, Anthony Davis leading the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
However, Denver remained hot on the heels of the Lakers as they recorded a fourth successive victory by beating the San Antonio Spurs 127-120.
In other games, the Orlando Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks 135-126, the Charlotte Hornetts won 87-76 at the Detroit Pistons, the Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks 123-119, and the Miami Heat defeated the struggling Golden State Warriors 113-101.