NBA

NBA Finals 2021: Giannis relaxed despite history being against Bucks at 2-0 down

By Sports Desk July 10, 2021

The Milwaukee Bucks may be trailing 2-0 in the NBA Finals but star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to keep things relaxed ahead of Game 3 on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo was outstanding with 42 points and 12 rebounds in Thursday's 118-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns which left the Bucks 2-0 down ahead of the series moving to Milwaukee.

Out of the 35 sides who have trailed 2-0 in NBA Finals history, only four have lifted the title, but despite that the Greek star was in a relaxed mood ahead of Game 3.

"I know it's the Finals," Antetokounmpo said at Saturday's media conference. "We know what we've got to do but at the end of the day, you've got to keep it light.

"You cannot tell yourself, 'Oh, it's the Finals. You got to do this. There's so much pressure, man.' No, like it's still basketball.

"It's easy to say, hard to do; but at the same time, you have to try to approach it that way. Just got to keep it light. Got to keep the ball light. You've got to keep the atmosphere light."

Antetokounmpo backed under-fire team-mate Khris Middleton, who only managed 11 points in Game 2, when pressed on his performances.

The 26-year-old also said he approached Game 2 with more aggression, leading to his improved output after 20 points in Game 1, which marked his return from a knee hyperextension injury.

"I was just trying to be more aggressive," he said. "That's all and we didn’t win the game, so it doesn’t really matter.

"From Game 1 to Game 2, I was just trying to be more aggressive and involved in actions."

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said small forward Torrey Craig's status was uncertain ahead of Game 3 after twisting his right knee in the third quarter on Thursday.

"He got some testing done yesterday," Williams said. "All of that came back clean, but he's still sore. So I can't make much of a statement on his availability or anything like that."

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    KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY

    Japanese pair Uta and Hifumi Abe made Olympic history as they became the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day of a Games in an individual sport, both enjoying success in judo on day two in Tokyo.

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    Older brother Hifumi made it a family double, overcoming Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia to triumph in the men's 66kg final.

    "This has turned out to be the greatest day ever," he said. "I don't think we, as brother and sister, could shine any brighter on this stage known as the Tokyo Olympics. I'm so happy."

     

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