It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

George leads Thunder romp, NBA-best Bucks blast Mavs

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By Agence France-Presse

Oklahoma City’s Paul George scored 31 points while Russell Westbrook added 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists Monday as the Thunder routed New York 127-109.

Germany’s Dennis Schroder added 17 points off the bench while Jerami Grant and reserve Abdel Nader each contributed 16 points for Oklahoma City (28-18) in the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday romp.

“This is my first time playing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s an honor to play on the holiday, a great honor,” George said.

The Thunder jumped ahead 34-16 after the first quarter and never looked back after quieting the Madison Square Garden crowd.

“We’ve been talking about having a better start in every game,” George said. “And you want to play at a high level when you come to Madison.”

The Thunder, third in the Western Conference behind defending NBA champion Golden State and Denver, is keeping a focus on the playoffs even as they take care of business during the season.

“It’s going to take every bit of us learning,” George said. “We want to be in the best shape, on our best form, coming to the end of the season. We have to pick up every little bit we can along the way, win or lose.”

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks (10-36) with 23 points, but New York’s losing streak stretched to six games.

Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to power the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks over visiting Dallas 116-106.

Eric Bledsoe added 21 points while Brook Lopez added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks. Slovenian forward Luka Doncic led Dallas with 18 points.

Trevor Ariza scored 20 points and Otto Porter added 19 off the bench to lead seven Washington double-figure scorers in the Wizards’ 101-87 home triumph over Detroit. Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 29 points.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points to lead Chicago’s five-double-digit scorers as the Bulls (11-36) ripped host Cleveland 104-88, the Cavaliers falling to an NBA-worst 9-39.