Giannis Antetokounmpo gets 7th straight 30-point game against Nets, but his death stands out in Bucks big win


Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Bucks suffered two surprising losses, losing home games to the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors – the latter having come without Giannis Antetokounmpo. Friday night, with their double MVP back in the lineup, they expressed their frustration with the Brooklyn Nets.

The Bucks never hung out on the night and led up to 24 points as they headed for a 121-109 win that wasn’t as close as the final scoreline suggests. It wasn’t quite the playoff rematch everyone wanted with both teams on the penalty kill, but it was a statement performance from the Bucks nonetheless.

Despite only playing 11 minutes in the first half due to a foul issue, Giannis led the way as usual. He finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and nine of 11 of 17 assists from the field, and made sure the Bucks buried the Nets in the second half.

It was Giannis’ seventh consecutive 30-point outing against the Nets since last season’s playoffs, which is his longest such streak against an opponent. But if there’s some sort of added motivation when he takes on Kevin Durant and the Nets – which seems likely – Giannis won’t admit as much.

“I don’t take it personally,” Giannis said. “I’m just trying to do my own race. I’m trying to help my own team, I’m trying to make my own team great. Obviously there’s a lot of excitement in the air when you play. Brooklyn. But at the end of the day I go over there and try to enjoy the game. KD is the best player in the world, he’s shown it in the past, he’s showing it right now. I’m just trying to improve myself.

While this was another standout performance from Giannis and his scoring streak against the Nets grabbed the headlines, his passing is what really stood out. He’s always been a good playmaker, but with Jrue Holiday sidelined from health and safety protocols, he had to put more emphasis on getting his teammates involved on Friday. That’s exactly what he did, finishing with nine assists – seven of which led to 3 points.

“I knew I had to involve my teammates, but at the same time, I had to get involved in the game,” said Giannis. “I was just trying to play the right play. Perform actions for Khris, actions for Rodney, actions for Bobby, give them the ball as much as possible. That’s what Jrue does, and now I see to how difficult this job is, because you have to get involved and be aggressive at the same time. It’s difficult. “

Some of the passes he made, especially in the home stretch, were just ridiculous. Absurdly long Eurostep kick-out to Bobby Portis; a drive, a spin, a kick to Jordan Nwora. But the piece de resistance came in the middle of the fourth quarter. He got off the ground, turned his back to the basket and was about to throw a post-up on Kevin Durant when he suddenly threw a deflection pass into the opposite corner. This hit Portis straight into his hands and led to another wide open 3.

“It’s always open because the people guarding it are great men, and on the rides you have to help,” Giannis said. “So he’s wide open. I know… I know Bobby is open, I just have to wait for the guy to move. Once I see the guy move, that’s when I can make the pass. . “

Thanks to Giannis, the Bucks are just a few percentage points away from the Nets for second place in the Eastern Conference. And, what’s more, they’re now 2-0 against the Nets this season. Now, they just need to win one of the last two games between the teams to secure the series this season – an advantage that could be vital at playoff time.

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