Giannis Antetokounmpo is worryingly forced out of the Bucks’ first quarter game against the Heat with a knee problem – but his team still records an emphatic 128-99 victory
Giannis Antetokounmpo left late in the first quarter with a right knee problem to mar his quick comeback from a sprained wrist, but the Milwaukee Bucks still defeated the Miami Heat 128-99 on Friday night for their 13th consecutive win.
Antetokounmpo was in the starting line-up just four days after flying to New York to have his right wrist checked. The two-time MVP was on the floor late in the first quarter when he passed the ball and immediately waved to the bench as the Bucks called a timeout to allow him into the locker room.
Bucks officials said in the second quarter that Antetokounmpo had knocked an opponent to his knees and would not be returning to the game. He had four points, four rebounds and four assists in just six minutes.
The Bucks have yet to have any trouble extending the longest winning streak in the NBA this season. The Bucks took the lead for a good four minutes into the game and got their most lopsided win of the season.
Jrue Holiday scored 24 points and received perhaps his biggest standing ovation of the night when video of the scoreboard caught him joining the crowd singing Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” during a timeout late in the fourth quarter.
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo left late in the first quarter with a right knee injury
Holiday also had seven assists and five rebounds while shooting 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
Bobby Portis had 18 points and 11 rebounds on his return from a sprained right medial collateral ligament that kept him out of 11 games. Brook Lopez had 17 points, Grayson Allen 16 and Khris Middleton 12.
Jimmy Butler scored 23, Bam Adebayo 18, Tyler Herro 14 and Caleb Martin 13 for the Heat, who shot just 9-of-40 on 3-point attempts.
Kevin Love and Cody Zeller made their Heat debuts after signing with Miami during the All-Star break. Love, who had reached a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, was a starter but didn’t score in his first game in a month.
He had eight rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes. Zeller was playing his first game of the season and had 10 points in 16 minutes.
Jae Crowder, acquired at the trade deadline, made his 2022-23 debut for the Bucks and added nine points in 16 minutes. Crowder hadn’t played for Phoenix this season when the Suns tried to trade him.