NBA

Giannis report positive after injury scare as Bucks clinch 11th straight win

By Sports Desk February 15, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo sent an injury scare through the Milwaukee Bucks camp late in Tuesday's 131-125 overtime win over the Boston Celtics, but the initial report was positive according to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Antetokounmpo went down awkwardly on landing following an unsuccessful drive to the basket in the fourth quarter and remained on the floor, before slowly getting to his feet and walking to the bench.

The Greek forward never left the game and played out the OT win, finishing with 36 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks as the Bucks claimed their 11th straight victory.

"They gave me a quick update just saying that they think he just banged knees with somebody," Budenholzer said.

"We'll check him in the morning, but I'd say the initial kind of report was positive."

Antetokounmpo's return was his 24th 30/10 game of the season, which is the most in the NBA. He was well supported by Jrue Holiday with a joint career-high 40 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field with eight-of-12 from beyond the arc.

Holiday's eight three-pointers was also a new career high, coming after his selection in the upcoming All-Star Game for the first time since 2013, marking the longest gap between All-Star appearances in NBA history.

"I don't really care for how I'm playing as long as we're winning," Holiday said. "For me, as long as we get the win, I'm OK.

"The only stat I look at is turnovers. That's kind of how I determine if I had a good or bad game. Tonight, what did I have, five turnovers? To me, that hurts my soul."

The win was not only the Bucks' 11th straight, but also saw them down their main Eastern Conference rivals for the top seed. The Bucks improved to a 40-17 record, narrowing the gap to the Celtics (41-17).

However, Boston were missing several key players, including Jayson Tatum (rest) and Jaylen Brown (facial fracture).

Celtics forward Sam Hauser had sent the clash to overtime with a game-tying three-pointer with 3.0 seconds remaining when Khris Middleton opted not to foul.

"We do different things at the end of the game," Budenholzer said. "The catch-and-shoot coming out of that is probably what they're looking for. We defended everything well, defended all the screens prior.

"He gets it out at half-court and hits a 30-footer. There's different things that we'll do. Credit to Hauser for making the shot. Khris did exactly what we asked him to do. Just fortunate to find a way to win it in overtime."

Related items

  • NBA legend Walton dies at 71 NBA legend Walton dies at 71

    Basketball legend Bill Walton died Monday at the age of 71.

    The NBA announced he passed away following a prolonged battle with cancer.

    During a 10-year professional career, Walton won a pair of NBA titles and was named the 1977-78 league MVP. He was also included on the NBA's 50th anniversary and 75th anniversary teams.

    He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1974-75 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers following a brilliant collegiate career that saw him win a pair of national titles at UCLA and earn three national player of the year awards.

    "Bill Walton was truly one of a kind," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

    He helped redefine the centre position, but his career was cut short by foot injuries.

    After averaging 17.1 points and 13.5 rebounds in his first four seasons with the Trail Blazers, he averaged 10.2 points and 8.1 boards in his final six seasons with the Clippers and Celtics.

    He led Portland to the 1976-77 NBA title, while being named Finals MVP, and later won a championship with Boston in 1985-86.

    He retired after playing just 10 games in the 1986-87 season, and was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

    Following his playing career, Walton became a star broadcaster for decades. He became known for his colourful broadcasting style, where he enthusiastically offered high praise and also blunt criticism.

    "What I will remember most about him was his zest for life," Silver said. "He was a regular presence at league events – always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and looking to share his wisdom and warmth. "

     

  • 'He's born for clutch situations' - Doncic salutes 'Mr Fourth Quarter' Irving 'He's born for clutch situations' - Doncic salutes 'Mr Fourth Quarter' Irving

    Luka Doncic says Kyrie Irving was "born for the clutch situations" as the Dallas Mavericks produced another late show to deny the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    The Mavs, who overcame a late two-point deficit, prevailed 116-107 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals series, becoming the first NBA side in history to take a 3-0 series lead despite trailing in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in each game.

    Dallas had the second-best clutch record (23-9) and best clutch offence (127.1 points per 100 possessions) during the regular season, and have continued that momentum into the playoffs.

    Indeed, they also came from behind late on in Game 6 of their conference semi-final series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Irving scored 14 points in the fourth quarter in Game 3, and now has 31 such points this series; the most by any player in this year's conference finals.

    "Unbelievable. That's why some people call him Mr Fourth Quarter, right?" Doncic said of his team-mate. "Just amazing. He's born for these situations. He's born for the clutch situations, so we just get the ball to him."

    "Down the stretch, that's where we make our money," Irving added. "I think we have that poise now, and we're just showcasing our skill sets out there that a lot of teams have to guard, the depth that we have. A lot of teams have to guard each one of us, and you got to pick your poison."

    Irving and Doncic scored 33 points apiece to become the first starting backcourt to each register at least 30 points in three playoff games over the past 50 seasons.

    "I feel like we're both born for this if you ask me, but it's just basketball. You've got to give the game what it needs at times," said Irving, who called for focus in his franchise's quest for a second NBA title.

    "It doesn't mean anything if we don't win a ring together. Right now, I want to show a lot of respect to the guys that have come before us and have actually done it. And our time will come."

  • NBA: Doncic and Irving shine as Mavericks take 3-0 lead on Timberwolves NBA: Doncic and Irving shine as Mavericks take 3-0 lead on Timberwolves

    Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving each scored 33 points to send the Dallas Mavericks a win away from reaching the NBA Finals with Sunday's 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. 

    WIth its star guard tandem leading the way, the fifth-seeded Mavericks dominated the game's final five minutes to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Dallas can eliminate the third-seeded Timberwolves and earn its first trip to the Finals since 2011 when it hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.

    No team in NBA history has come back to win a best-of-seven play-off series after losing the first three games.

    That's the challenge now facing Minnesota, which clung to a 104-102 lead with five minutes left before the Mavericks seized control for good with a 14-1 run.

    Anthony Edwards finished with 26 points for the Timberwolves, but just four of those came in the pivotal fourth quarter. Minnesota's other All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns, was held scoreless in the final period after recording 14 points over the first three quarters.

    Irving had 14 fourth-quarter points and six during the deciding spurt, which he began with a driving layup that tied the game at 104-104 with 4:35 left. P.J. Washington then sent Dallas ahead by knocking down a 3-pointer on its next possession, and the Mavericks held Minnesota without a field goal until Edwards scored the game's final points on a layup with 15.3 seconds left.

    Dallas built a lead as large as 12 points in the first half and went into the break with a 60-52 advantage behind Doncic's 15 points and 14 from Irving. The Mavericks were up by 10 near the midway stage of the third quarter before Minnesota reversed momentum with an 13-1 run.

    Edwards had eight straight points during the flurry, along with an assist on Naz Reid's layup that gave the Timberwolves a 79-77 edge with 3:54 left in the third. 

    Three-point shooting also played a part in Dallas' victory, as the Mavs finished 14 of 28 from beyond the arc. The Timberwolves were 9 of 30 from 3-point range, with Towns missing all eight of his attempts. 

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.