Westbrook scores 31 as Rockets get 120-116 win over Bucks

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Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to move the ball against the Houston Rockets during an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets used strong defense down the stretch for a 120-116 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.

It was the 36th straight game with at least 20 points for Westbrook, who led Houston's offense on a night James Harden scored 24.

Harden called their defense on Sunday night “very important" to the victory.

“Throughout the course of the game we played some really good defense," he said. “They're a good offensive team but we got stops when we needed to.”

Houston tied an NBA record for most 3-point attempts in a regulation game with 61, making 21 of them, and forced 22 turnovers.

“I think our execution, our certainty in what we wanted to do wasn’t where it needs to be and that starts with me," Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “So, I think a lot of tonight’s on me.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to have 15 games with at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a season in the last 50 years.

Khris Middleton scored 27 points and Brook Lopez added 23 as the Bucks missed a chance to clinch the best record in the Eastern Conference.