NBA scores, highlights: Giannis outduels James Harden in MVP showdown; Kyle Kuzma scores 41 in Lakers win

Welcome back to another night of NBA action. It was a busy one, with 10 games on Wednesday's docket.

The early games turned out to be a bit anticlimactic, as the Celtics ran the Pacers out of the gym with a 27-point victory, and the Wizards got some revenge on the Sixers by beating them by 17. 

Later, in a highly intriguing contest, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks past James Harden and the Rockets. Luka Doncic and the Mavericks also beat Deandre Ayton and the Suns in a battle of two of the league's top rookies.

In the late games, the Bulls traveled to Portland and lost to the Trail Blazers, while the Pistons took the loss in a matchup with the Lakers. 

Here's everything you need to know about Wednesday night in the NBA, along with Thursday's schedule.

NBA scores for Wednesday, Jan. 9

NBA schedule for Thursday, Jan. 10

*All times Eastern

Kuzma drops 41 in three quarters

Needless to say, Kyle Kuzma was feeling it on Wednesday. He lit up the Pistons for 41 points, and didn't even have to play the fourth quarter.

Giannis, Bucks get best of Harden, Rockets

James Harden scored 42 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for the shorthanded Rockets against Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks. The Greek Freak had 27 points and a career-high 21 rebounds as Milwaukee pulled off the win. The funniest moment of the game came when Giannis attempted to fire a cross-court pass, but the ball went directly into Harden's ear.

Davis gets two big blocks in a row, then shows off his handles

Anthony Davis showed off his versatility against the Cavaliers. First, he proved he can protect the rim with two fantastic blocks on the same possession. After arriving to deny Jordan Clarkson at the rim, then he recovered to reject Ante Zizic. Then, he showed what he can do on offense, using some fancy dribbling to get to the rim. Davis finished the game with an insane line of 38 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks.

Beal, Embiid duel as Wizards get revenge on Sixers

The Wizards lost by 17 points to the Sixers on Tuesday night, then turned around and beat the Sixers by 17 points on Wednesday night. Bradley Beal led the way for the Wizards, going for 34 points and five assists. The Wizards needed all of those points to withstand a strong game from Joel Embiid. The Sixers big man put up 35 points and 14 rebounds. 

Brown, Tatum lead Celtics to big win over Pacers

The Celtics kept up their strong play as of late with a dominant win over the visiting Pacers. They crushed them by 27 points to earn their fourth win in a row, and seventh in their last nine games. Their two youngsters, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum led the way, combining for 42 points and 11 rebounds. Brown also led a 73-point bench effort from the Celtics. 

Harden cooks Bucks in first half

James Harden kept up his hot streak with a big first half against the Bucks. He drained three triples and went for 23 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Simmons finds Embiid with a fancy pass

Ben Simmons showed off his passing skills with a fancy feed to Joel Embiid. Driving inside, Simmons faked the dish initially, then found Embiid with the wraparound.

Nets honor Carter with tribute video

A day after getting to play in Toronto, Vince Carter was playing another of his old teams on Wednesday, the Nets. They're in Brooklyn now, but they still honored Carter with a cool tribute video.

Cavs catch fire from deep

The Cavaliers got off to an excellent start in their game against the Pelicans. They knocked down all eight of their 3-point tries in the first quarter. 

Kyrie crosses and scores

Kyrie Irving broke out some of his fancy dribbling moves early on Wednesday night. Using a couple of quick between-the-legs crossovers, Irving got past Cory Joseph for an easy layup.

Marc puts Pau in the spin cycle

Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol have been going at it for decades now, both before and after they made it to the NBA. Even as veterans, they're still out there battling each other. This time, Marc got the better of his older brother.

MVP showdown in Houston

Two of the league's leading MVP candidates will meet on Wednesday night in Houston. Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead his revamped Bucks against James Harden and the surging Rockets. Thanks to new head coach Mike Budenholzer's offensive system, Giannis has taken his game to a new level this season, and taken the Bucks along with him. Harden, meanwhile, took a while to get going this season, but now that he's in gear he's putting up historic numbers to turn the Rockets' campaign around. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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