Despite a brilliant game from their Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo, author of 45 points and 14 rebounds, the leader of the Eastern Conference had to admit defeat, conceding his ninth defeat this season, for 22 victories.

The Cavaliers were sixteen lengths ahead at the end of the third quarter and despite a reaction from the Bucks in the last quarter, were able to keep eight at the buzzer.

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavaliers in scoring with 36, well backed by Darius Garland who scored 23.

"We needed it," Jarrett Allen said after his team's success.

"We had lost twice at home and we needed to show them that we were there tonight to play."

The Cavaliers had fallen twice in their two previous meetings this season against the Bucks.

"This time we didn't let them slip away in the third quarter, and that's a big satisfaction," added Allen, the Cavaliers' third-leading scorer with 19 points.

The other leaders of this Conference were in the running on Wednesday, starting with Boston.

The Celtics, NBA finalist last season, gave in again at home: after the Orlando Magic last Friday and Sunday, this time it was the Indiana Pacers who went to win at TD Garden, 117 to 112 with 33 points by Tyrese Haliburton.

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets shoots during the NBA game against the Golden State Warriors on December 21, 2022 in Brooklyn © Sarah Stier / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Nothing works very well in Jayson Tatum's team, whose 41 points were not enough.

Joe Mazzula's players concede their fifth defeat in six matches.

They still retain second place in the Eastern Conference.

Personal record for Siakam

Behind, the Brooklyn Nets, fourth, struck a blow by crushing the Golden State Warriors, outgoing champions, 143 to 113.

Kevin Durant's teammates posted the third-best first-half total in NBA history: Against the Warriors who were orphaned by their two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder on December 14 against the Pacers on December 14, they led at the halfway point 91-51!

The Nets have lost just one of their last twelve games and are on their seventh straight win.

Everyone participated in the offensive festival in the ranks of Brooklyn, where nine players scored at least ten points, completely forgetting the absence of Kyrie Irving, injured in a calf.

Their neighbors, the New York Knicks, sixth in the standings and who remained on eight victories, were less happy, yielding to Madison Square Garden against the Toronto Raptors, winners 113-106.

Pascal Siakam, with 52 points, the most points in a game of his career, helped the Raptors stop the bleeding and end a six-game losing streak.

Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers, at the free throw against the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA on December 21, 2022 in Los Angeles © RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Also in this Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls went to blow the victory in Atlanta, 110 to 108. At the buzzer, Demar DeRozan fired a shot, missed, but Ayo Dosunmu was there to recover the ball on the rebound and offer an ultimate basket the victory to the Bulls.

In the West, in the absence of the first four who were not playing, the LA Clippers, fifth, took the opportunity to bring Phoenix in the standings, thanks to their great success against the Charlotte Hornets 126-105.

Paul George and Nicolas Batum were the Clippers' top two scorers, with 22 and 21 points.

Clippers still closely held by the Sacramento Kings, sixth, home winners of the Los Angeles Lakers 134-120 with four players over twenty points.

In Minnesota, Rudy Gobert distinguished himself by taking 15 rebounds and scoring 19 points, but his team lost to Dallas, 104-99.

© 2022 AFP