The Bucks welcomed back Khris Middleton after he sat out eight games with coronavirus while James was out for his eighth match with an abdominal strain.
A pair of three-pointers from Middleton early in the fourth quarter saw the Bucks take a lead which they held until the final buzzer at the Fiserv Forum.
Four Brooklyn Nets players passed 20 points in a 109-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Devin Booker scored 24 against the Mavericks who were without Luka Doncic through injury.
Elsewhere, the Atlanta Hawks’ strong home form continued after a 110-99 win over the Boston Celtics and Jimmy Butler notched up a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and as many assists in the Miami Heat’s 113-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Luguentz Dort posted 34 points in a 101-89 win for the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Houston Rockets, the Rockets’ 13th straight loss, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Sacramento Kings 107-97 the Orlando Magic pipped the New York Knicks 104-98.
The Charlotte Hornets beat the in-form Washington Wizards 97-87, the Detroit Pistons defeated the Indiana Pacers 97-87 and the Chicago Bulls were downed by the Portland Trail Blazers 112-107.
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