Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks against DeAndre Jordan, left, and Kyrie Irving of the Nets during the Bucks’ 127-124 win Sunday in Milwaukee. Morry Gash/Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 49 points, Khris Middleton had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks edged Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets 117-114 on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo, who missed Friday’s game against Chicago because of a sprained right ankle, also had eight rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. He went 21 for 36 from the field, helping Milwaukee overcome a terrific performance by Durant.

The Bucks (40-24) won for the third time in four games to pull within 2 1/2 games of the Nets (43-22) in the three-way battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee hosts Brooklyn again on Tuesday night.

Durant had 42 points and 10 rebounds, but he missed a difficult fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer. Kyrie Irving scored 20 points, and Landry Shamet finished with 17.

Antetokounmpo was three points shy of his career high, set against Philadelphia in March 2019.

HEAT 121, HORNETS 111: Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and surging Miami won at Charlotte to move into sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Miami’s win, combined with Boston’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, leaves the Heat a game ahead of the Celtics with seven games remaining.

That’s significant because the team that finishes in sixth automatically qualifies for the playoffs, while the teams that finish in seventh through 10th place must earn their way into the postseason via the play-in tournament.

KNICKS 122, ROCKETS 97: Julius Randle scored 31 points in three quarters to lead New York to at victory at Houston.

Randle, who had seven rebounds and six assists, scored 15 points in the third quarter to pad the lead and spent the fourth quarter on the bench with the game out of reach.

It was the 11th victory in 12 games for the Knicks and the seventh loss in eight games for the Rockets, who have the NBA’s worst record at 16-49.

KINGS 111, MAVERICKS 99: Buddy Hield scored 27 points, Marvin Bagley III had 23 points and nine rebounds and visiting Sacramento beat playoff-contending Dallas for the third time in 15 days.

Luka Doncic scored 30 points before getting ejected in the final minute after his second technical foul in another game without European sidekick Kristaps Porzingis, who is battling right knee soreness.

76ERS 113, SPURS 111: Joel Embiid had 34 points and 12 rebounds, and Ben Simmons tipped in the winning basket off an Embiid miss as time expired in overtime as visiting Philadelphia beat undermanned San Antonio.

SUNS 123, THUNDER 120: Devin Booker scored 32 points, and Phoenix held on for a win at Oklahoma City.

Comments are not available on this story.