Rockets’ James Harden drops to 2nd on Kia MVP ladder

Giannis Antetokounmpo dismisses MVP talk: 'I don't know if I'm there yet'

Giannis Antetokounmpo dismisses MVP talk: 'I don't know if I'm there yet'

Houston led by 6 at halftime after 23 points by Harden, but the Bucks opened the third quarter with an 11-3 run to take a 65-63 lead with about 9 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.

Antetokounmpo and Harden will be duking it out for MVP the rest of the season.

"I was like 'oh my bad.' I told him obviously, when we were running down the floor", Antetokounmpo told reporters. He called the nationally televised win over Harden's Rockets "just another game", acknowledging it was fun playing in that kind of spotlight but emphasizing that the Bucks winning was important, not his individual statistics. The half ended with a Middleton jumper to cut the Houston lead to 60-54. Antetokounmpo, after missing a free throw with 1:39 to play, came out of a timeout and made the second to keep the Bucks ahead by four.

"All I care about is winning, to be honest with you", Antetokounmpo said after scoring 27 points, grabbing a career-high 21 rebounds and dishing out five assists for the East-leading Bucks in the win.

"He's not normal", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

It was Harden's sixth 40-point outing in the last eight games and he has scored 30 or more points in 14 straight games, which is the longest streak since Tracy McGrady did it in 2003. Milwaukee got four points from Malcolm Brogdon and three from Antetokounmpo in that stretch. "It hurt. ... I wish I would have seen it".

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