LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Milwaukee Bucks fought off elimination on Sunday, beating Miami Warmth 118-115 in additional time, regardless of celebrity Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping to a sprained proper ankle within the second quarter.
After Antetokounmpo was fouled by Warmth striker Andre Iguodala whereas driving within the paint at 10:18 within the second quarter of Recreation Four of this Jap Convention semifinal sequence, he fell in a heap, screamed in ache, and clung to his proper ankle . He needed to be helped off the pitch however later went again to share a pair of free throws.
Antetokounmpo left the sport instantly and went to Milwaukee’s locker room on his personal. He would not be seen once more because the Bucks eradicated their celebrity at halftime as they clung to a 50-48 lead.
“He will be handled all evening and we’ll see how he is doing for the following 24 (to) 48 hours,” mentioned Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer after the sport.
In an impressed efficiency led by Khris Middleton, the Bucks managed to carry out after dropping the reigning MVP to keep away from a 4-Zero win. Middleton’s 21 factors within the third quarter have been probably the most by a Bucks participant in 1 / 4 of a playoff sport since Tim Thomas ’19 in 1996-97. He completed with 36 factors, eight assists and eight rebounds in 48 minutes – together with a clutch 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds in additional time towards a Miami doubles staff.
“We all know he laid it out for us on the road,” mentioned Middleton. “His ankle was already in unhealthy form and he was strolling within the first quarter for the minutes that he was within the first and second quarters, so long as he was on the market, and as a staff you could not do anything, to respect your teammates for giving every part. So we needed to have his again tonight and hopefully we’ll have him again for the following sport, but when not we nonetheless must play as exhausting as we are able to. We’ve got to every Struggle evening to maintain enjoying. “
Antetokounmpo was a game-time resolution for Recreation Four after initially injuring his proper ankle within the first half of Recreation Three on Friday evening. He was coaching and gave the impression to be shifting with no noticeable limp on the Sunday earlier than the sport began.
He additionally received off to an awesome begin, scoring 19 factors, 4 rebounds, a steal and a block in 8v10 capturing in 11 minutes earlier than the damage.
“You are feeling for Giannis,” mentioned Budenholzer. “I hope what he did within the first 10 or 12 minutes on an ankle that isn’t 100 p.c full is not misplaced. It was phenomenal early within the sport and it was an enormous enhance. I feel they took a giant blow. ” early, and Giannis was in a position to maintain us afloat. “
Middleton then picked up the loophole. Eric Bledsoe, who added 14 factors, 10 rebounds and 6 assists when the Bucks weren’t swept. Brook Lopez scored 14 factors with 5 rebounds and Hill 12 factors with 5 rebounds from the bench.
“They’re an awesome disciplined staff. Whether or not we go up or down, they may play the identical method in each instructions. We’ve got to climate the storm,” mentioned Bledsoe. “We all know their run is coming. It is all about how we get better from it and keep in place. I believed we did an awesome job to not get too deep once they went their run. We’re in Assault mode remained. ” and got here to the sting. “
When Bucks gamers walked into the locker room, Antetokounmpo was there to congratulate them on their final win, nevertheless it’s nonetheless unclear if he can return to Recreation 5 on Tuesday.
The Bucks are the primary staff to win in additional time towards the San Antonio Spurs because the warmth in Recreation 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.