Giannis Antetokounmpo delivers another 40-point, 10-rebound outing as Bucks beat Nets to remain undefeated

Home » Giannis Antetokounmpo delivers another 40-point, 10-rebound outing as Bucks beat Nets to remain undefeated
Giannis Antetokounmpo delivers another 40-point, 10-rebound outing as Bucks beat Nets to remain undefeated



MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks had a first half to forget on Wednesday night, but instead of trying to push it out of their memory, they used it as fuel to power a dominant second-half turnaround. Down by 12 at the break, they outscored the Brooklyn Nets by 23 points the rest of the way en route to a 110-99 win that ensured they remained the only undefeated team in the league at 3-0.

Giannis finished the night with 43 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three blocks on 16 of 25 from the field. This was his 21st career game (regular season and playoffs) with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds, and his second consecutive 40-point outing. The 87 points he’s scored over the past two games are the most in a two-game span in his entire career. 

“It’s not letting the first half dictate the second half, it’s almost like the first half allowed me to have the second half because I was pissed,” Giannis said. “Sometimes you don’t play well, and you want to play better. Sometimes you get more stubborn, play tougher, and play with more edge. A lot of people put it behind them and try to have a fresh second half, but for me, it’s all together. It’s a movie, it’s a start and an end. You don’t start the movie and then take a break and then like, ‘OK, hopefully, the second part is better.’ It’s the whole thing.”

The Nets’ lengthy and athletic frontcourt of Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Nic Claxton succeeded in making things difficult for Giannis during the opening acts of Wednesday night’s film. Unable to find his way to the rim, Giannis settled for an array of jumpers and went into the locker room with nine points on 3 of 10 from the field. 

As the production moved along, Giannis showed why he was the leading man. He would not be denied, bull-dozing his way to the paint time and again, defense is damned. Twelve of his 15 shots in the second half came in the restricted area, as he poured in 34 points — nearly as many as the Nets’ 44 as a team. He got back to basics, and both he and his team reaped the rewards. 

“Playing in Europe over the summer, you don’t have much time,” Giannis said. “You don’t have time to think. You might have one shot; what the defense is giving you, you have to take. I feel like in the NBA, you have so much space that sometimes you fall into the trap of many things you can do, and you want to do everything at once. But at the end of the day, I want to play within my strengths.” 

“I’m not going with a mindset that I want to be more finesse, that I’m gonna finish off the glass, or get the bump or pump fake and do all that. I’m just trusting my instincts. I’m just trying to get to my spots that I’ve been working on, and after that, I’ll try to figure it out. If guys let me get to my jump hook, if guys let me get to my fade, or if I can face up and shoot the shot off the dribble, I’m just gonna try to pick one and go with it instead of sometimes try to do everything together in one play.”

Despite starting the season without All-Star forward Khris Middleton, key reserve Pat Connaughton, and veteran free agent acquisition Joe Ingles, the Bucks are 3-0 with wins over two other Eastern Conference contenders in the Nets and Sixers. They are the league’s only undefeated team and have the league’s best player. There’s still a long way to go, but the first week could not have gone better in Milwaukee. 

“It was a great win tonight,” Giannis said. “Houston was a great win, Philly also. At the end of the day, we gotta keep building good habits, and I’m happy knowing that the team is in a good place.”

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