Giannis Antetokounmpo supplied Nets followers with loads of enjoyable fodder when he went to the free-throw line Saturday at Barclays Middle, however he additionally scored 40 factors and had the final chuckle.
“The Greek Freak’’ and his Bucks are shifting on to the Japanese Convention Finals. And Kevin Durant stated he believes Antetokounmpo could get his first title because the Bucks face the winner of Sunday’s Recreation 7 between the Sixers and Hawks.
Ultimately, the Bucks’ Large 3 was an excessive amount of for what was left of the Nets’ Large 3. Antetokounmpo tied the rating with a minute left in extra time with a hook shot over Durant. Khris Middleton (23 factors) hit the game-winner with 20 seconds remaining.
Level guard Jrue Vacation led the Bucks’ comeback in regulation with large 3-pointers and free throws and an offensive rebound. The Nets, in the meantime, shot 1 of 12 in extra time.
“All of them made large performs down the stretch ’’ Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “These guys are nice opponents.’’
Antetokounmpo, who has by no means made the NBA Finals, was emotional after the win. He scrawled within the locker room an “8’’ — which is the variety of playoff victories the Bucks have to this point. Additionally they will want eight extra to win a title.
“It’s an amazing feeling,’’ Antetokounmpo stated. “I attempt to not get too excessive or low. I bought emotional a bit of bit on the market. The group actually tried their greatest. Simply with the ability to come to New York and have been 0 for five right here and in Recreation 7 and everybody’s anxious and nervous and in a position to execute and belief one another. It was large time. I’m actually completely satisfied for this group. We’re midway via. I need everybody to cherish this second.’’
Antetokounmpo praised Durant for his last-second 22-footer that despatched the sport to the additional sesson.
“Large, large shot however we have been in a position to preserve our composure,’’ he stated. “We actually needed this as a group.’’
As has turn into Barclays Middle customized, the followers mocked the 10-second violations Antetokounmpo has picked up for his painful act of stalling, by counting previous 10, typically to 13 as he missed 4 of 8 free throws within the first half. However he scored 20 within the third quarter, shot 15 of 24, getting the final chuckle. Within the closing 4 video games of the sequence, he averaged 34 factors.
With the Bucks down three with 5:59 left in regulation, Antetokounmpo, with the gang counting, flung an airball, sending the followers into one other frenzy — one which by no means stopped to the ultimate extra time whistle.
He completed 8 of 14 from the road, however he’s going to the Japanese Convention Finals.