On any given night, Giannis Antetokounmpo succeeds at suspending fans’ disbelief and completing the unthinkable.
Antetokounmpo has levitated on blocks. He has spiked balls into the Fiserv Forum stands with superman strength.
On Friday night, Antetokounmpo came as close to flying as most can get — soaring over LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac and clobbering him with a gasp-worthy dunk to highlight a 119-91 Bucks win to improve to 20-3, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for best in the NBA.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap
These are the games in which the “Greek Freak” revels.
“Now he is eating players,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, cracking a smile. “Great players do that. They understand when someone gets the best of them or a team gets the best of them, they don’t cry about it. They look at it and say, I’ve got to get better.”
On the court, Antetokounmpo believes in serving piping hot platters of revenge. He was determined to seek retribution over Kawhi Leonard — the player most responsible for sending Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks home in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals as a member of the Toronto Raptors.
Antetokounmpo already used his animus to overpower the Raptors on Nov. 2, scoring a then-season best 36 points. After that game, he said he had “a lot of motivation” to beat the defending champions, but they were “obviously a different team.” Toronto was missing the man Antetokounmpo craved to play against the most: Leonard.
Friday wasn’t the first time the Bucks had faced the Clippers this season. Milwaukee had already gone Los Angeles to beat the Clippers at Staples Center. But at the time, Paul George had yet to debut after offseason shoulder surgery, and Leonard was taking the night off for load management, returning to action the following night in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers.
In some ways, Zubac was a surrogate for his teammate, Leonard. Antetokounmpo and Leonard did not go head-to-head often, so instead, Antetokounmpo unleashed in other ways. Essentially, Zubac was just a guy in Antetokounmpo’s way. Don’t get in Antetokounmpo’s way.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys
The first half lacked the razzle-dazzle expected of a matchup between two of the best players in the league. Antetokounmpo scored only 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, and Leonard’s first six shots were from at least 12 feet. Milwaukee’s first-half lead wasn’t built by Antetokounmpo manhandling defenders and skillfully bullying his way to the rim, but rather by Milwaukee’s second unit.
With just over five minutes left in the first quarter and the Clippers leading by two, Antetokounmpo sauntered over to the bench. Without him, the Bucks went on a 17-4 run and built a double-digit advantage. He returned with a minute and a half left and the Bucks up by 11. Overall, the Bucks were outscored by 10 points in Antetokounmpo’s 16 first-half minutes, and the Bucks outscored the Clippers by 19 in the 8:44 that Antetokounmpo was off the floor.