Antetokounmpo scores 27 to lead Bucks over Rockets 116-109

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"Hell no, I didn't see it coming", Harden said.

Harden led all scorers with 42 points when the Rockets and Bucks met on Wednesday, but Houston as a whole was unable to overcome the Eastern Conference juggernauts, losing 116-109. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

"I definitely think it's our belief inside this locker room, and a lot just around the league, that we have the best player in the league right here", Bucks big man Brook Lopez said of Antetokounmpo after Wednesday's road win over the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

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In this matchup of early front-runners for MVP, Harden and his teammates were done in by a shooting slump late in the third quarter that spilled into the fourth and left them down by 15 points.

Harden, whose league-leading scoring average is up to 33.9 points per game after his franchise-record-tying 12th 40-point performance of the season, acknowledged that Antetokounmpo has earned his way into the discussion about who is the best player in the league.

Harden made history in the loss by recording his 14th straight 30-point game. The Rockets battled back and got within three when James Harden hit a floater with 2:37 to play, but he missed back-to-back threes on the Rockets next possession that would've tied the game. Milwaukee got four points from Malcolm Brogdon and three from Antetokounmpo in that stretch. Gerald Green chipped in 16 points off the bench. That run included a 9-0 run in the last 1:19 of the quarter highlighted by a tip-in at the buzzer by Antetokounmpo. "That s- hurt. I didn't even know what happened".

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