Sport

Antetokounmpo delivers for the Bucks

Charging ahead: Giannis Antetokounmpo put on an emphatic all-round offensive display as Milwaukee Bucks made a winning start to its defence of its title.  

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points as the Milwaukee Bucks launched the defence of its NBA crown on Tuesday with a 127-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, while LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were outgunned by the Golden State Warriors 121-114.

Antetokounmpo picked up where he left off in guiding the Bucks to victory in the NBA Finals last season, leading an emphatic all-round offensive display that included 14 rebounds and seven assists.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player was one of five Bucks who cracked double figures on a night when Milwaukee’s fans celebrated as the team raised its first championship banner in 50 years at the Fiserv Forum.

Khris Middleton had 20 points while Pat Connaughton also made 20 off the bench. Jordan Nwora added 15 points while Jrue Holiday, who left the game with an injury early on, had 12.

Missing Irving

It was a chastening loss for Brooklyn, who have started the season without the services of Kyrie Irving.

The Nets have left Irving out of the line-up for the foreseeable future because of his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which makes him ineligible for home games in New York due to city laws.

In Irving’s absence, Kevin Durant led the Brooklyn scorers with 32 points while James Harden had 20. New signing Patty Mills added 21 — making seven-from-seven from three-point range — while Nic Claxton had 12 points.

In Tuesday’s other season-opener, the new-look Los Angeles Lakers was humbled by the Warriors at the Staples Center.

James led the Lakers scorers with 34 points while Anthony Davis chimed in with 33. But they were the only two Los Angeles players to make double figures, while blockbuster new signing Russell Westbrook was restricted to eight points, five rebounds and four assists.

Instead it was the Warriors who looked the more cohesive unit, with Stephen Curry leading the way with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — Curry’s first triple-double since 2016.

Six Warriors players made double figures, with Jordan Poole just behind Curry with 20 points. The Lakers led 59-53 at half-time but were blown away by the Warriors after the break.

The results: Milwaukee Bucks 127 bt Brooklyn Nets 104; Golden State Warriors 121 bt LA Lakers 114.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 10:18:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/antetokounmpo-delivers-for-the-bucks/article37097944.ece

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