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Lillard buzzer-beater lifts Bucks over Kings, Nuggets cool off Pacers

Damian Lillard (right) and Giannis Antetokounmpo high five during the game against the Sacramento Kings. Photo: Gary Dineen / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP

Damian Lillard drilled a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift the Milwaukee Bucks to a stunning 143-142 NBA overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

The Kings led by as many as six in the extra session, but Brook Lopez’s three-pointer with 11.5 seconds left pulled Milwaukee within one, and after Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox missed one of two free throws Lillard unleashed the game winner from the top of the arc.

“I shot my best shot on the last shot of the game,” said Lillard, who connected on just nine of his 23 attempts from the floor on the way to 29 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo added a triple-double of 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Bucks.

Domantas Sabonis notched a triple-double of 21 points 15 assists and 13 rebounds and Fox scored a game-high 32 points for Sacramento, whose coach Mike Brown was ejected early in the fourth quarter after confronting an official over a non-call when he thought Fox had been fouled.

Brown was still yelling as Kings guard Malik Monk wrapped his arms around him and shepherded him from the court with Sacramento trailing 105-95.

Sacramento responded and Fox tied it up at 128-128 with a driving layup with one second left in regulation. The Kings were up by four with 33.9 seconds left in overtime.

“The team kept fighting,” Lillard said. “I thought the biggest shot of the night was Brook’s three in the corner just to open up that opportunity.

“Once I saw that open space I was like, this is the space that I live in.”

In Denver, Nikola Jokic was just one of three Nuggets players to score 25 points as the reigning NBA champions beat the Indiana Pacers 117-109.

Jokic added 12 rebounds and nine assists, Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray scored 25 points apiece and Aaron Gordon added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets.

They shot a season-high 64.8% from the field and held the NBA’s top-scoring offense to its fifth-fewest points this season.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone was disappointed by his team’s season-worst 21 turnovers, but full of praise for Porter, who drilled seven three-pointers in what Malone called “a complete basketball game.”

“It was easy looks,” Porter said. “My teammates were finding me so I didn’t have to work too hard for my shots.”

Porter said the Nuggets were focused on cooling off the Pacers’ red-hot offense.

“We knew they wanted to push the pace,” he said, joking that the Nuggets had a little extra motivation to prevent former teammate Bruce Brown from getting a win in his return to Denver.

Brown, who played a key role off the bench in the Nuggets’ title run last season and then signed with the Pacers as a free agent, was awarded his championship ring in a ceremony before the game.

Timberwolves down Clippers

“He won a championship with us so he’s our brother for life,” Porter said of Brown, who led Indiana with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

The Nuggets improved to 28-13, third in a Western Conference led by the Minnesota Timberwolves — who inched half a game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 109-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Timberwolves used a big third quarter to break open a close game, pushing their lead to as many as 17 then holding off a late Clippers charge.

Anthony Edwards scored 33 points and Rudy Gobert added 15 points and 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points to pace the Clippers, who sliced the deficit to three points with just over a minute to play — only for Gobert to drain four free throws to help the Timberwolves hold on.

In Miami, Bam Adebayo scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out seven assists in the Heat’s 104-87 rout of the Charlotte Hornets.

The Heat, playing without injured Jimmy Butler and Kevin Love, led by as many as 24 in the second quarter, the only downside on their night being the early exit of rookie guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. with a groin injury.

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