Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to a big comeback and their best win of the season and sat down right on the floor to celebrate.
Antetokounmpo scored 10 of his game-high 32 points in overtime Wednesday as Milwaukee rallied for a 109-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Antetokounmpo had 10 consecutive points for the Bucks down the stretch. After his last bucket, a 12-foot jumper in the lane that gave Milwaukee a 105-98 lead with 1:12 left, he celebrated by sitting down on the court for a moment and smiling into the cameras.
There were about 3,000 fans inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena, and they made sure to let Antetokounmpo hear it, showering him with boos.
“Is there something wrong with having fun?” Antetokounmpo said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having fun. I just like to have fun. In the first half, I was not having fun.”
The Bucks shot 26.7% in the first half, including 1-of-17 from 3-point range, and fell behind by as many as 19 points. Antetokounmpo had four points on 1-of-4 shooting. The Sixers led 45-31 at the break before collapsing in the second half.
Antetokounmpo had 18 points in the third and fourth quarters to lead Milwaukee’s comeback before taking over in the extra period and culminating with his celebration on the floor.
“Obviously, there’s a couple times where I exaggerate, but I don’t take anything back,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to sit down.’ I was just having fun.”
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Sixers center Dwight Howard didn’t think it was very fun.
“I wanted to go and Stone Cold Stunner him, but I had already gotten one tech,” Howard said. “It’s basketball. He wanted to have fun. But we’ll see these guys again. We don’t want to make a big scene about what he did. But today we allowed them to get back in the game. So what he did, we can’t control that.
“I’m not one to talk trash or say anything negative, but we’ll see them again and it’ll be a different result.”
Antetokounmpo was still having fun later Wednesday, posting a picture of himself sitting on the court with the note: “Sit back relax and enjoy the show”
Here are four more things to know today in the NBA:
When in doubt, call 12
Ja Morant struggled against a tough Heat defense Wednesday, but came through late to lead the Grizzlies to a gutsy victory. Morant scored the tiebreaking bucket on a driving, left-handed layup with 1.2 seconds left as Memphis held on to win 89-85 and snap a three-game losing streak. Morant, who came into the game averaging 19.4 points, was limited to 13 on 5-of-15 shooting but didn’t let that deter him in the game’s biggest moment.
“We have this thing where we say call 12 (Morant’s jersey number),” he said. “When in doubt, you got my number. I answered this time and we got the dub.”
Steph exits early
The Warriors cruised to a win Wednesday, but Steph Curry missed the fourth quarter against the Rockets with a bruised tailbone. On the final play of the third quarter, Curry attempted a 3-pointer from the right wing. His momentum carried him backwards a few feet off the court, where he tripped on a metal riser and fell on his backside.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr called the fall “kind of scary” and had “no idea” if Curry will play Friday against the Grizzlies. Kerr said Curry was feeling sore, but the two-time MVP believes “he’s going to be fine long term.”
Trade season begins
With one week until the March 25 deadline, trade season got underway Wednesday with a pair of moves that sent coveted defenders to top Eastern Conference contenders. The Bucks acquired P.J. Tucker from the Rockets to bolster their wing rotation. The Heat traded for Trevor Ariza from the Thunder to add more defensive depth. With more deals sure to come, our friends at HoopsHype are tracking all the latest news and buzz on their rumors page.
Game of the night: Hornets at Lakers
The upstart Hornets opened a five-game road trip Wednesday and got smacked by the Nuggets in a 25-point loss. They face another stiff test Thursday against the defending champion Lakers at Staples Center. It also marks the first meeting between Lakers star LeBron James and Hornets rookie sensation LaMelo Ball, who said he was “not really” that excited about playing James for the first time.
Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Giannis Antetokounmpo takes seat on floor, anger Sixers in Bucks’ win
Published: 2021-03-18 10:58:27
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