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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks forward gets flashback to time in Greece

Giannis poured in 37 points in 21 minutes against the Knicks

Cameron Hogwood

Wednesday 15 January 2020 12:09, UK

Antetokounmpo poured in 37 points in just 21 minutes to lead the Bucks to victory
Image: Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 37 points in just 21 minutes to lead the Bucks to victory

A beaming smile creeps through as Giannis Antetokounmpo reflects on drawing a foul on a three-point attempt against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

The Milwaukee Bucks forward exploded for 37 points in just 21 minutes to lead his team to a 128-102 victory, extending their winning streak to four and their record to a league-best 36-6.

Besides nine rebounds and four assists, Antetokounmpo also had a foul on a pump fake from the three-point line to show for his night.

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As it happens, the latter was seemingly the first for the 25-year-old since his time with Filathlitikos in Greece.

"It feels good, that's the first time it's ever happened in the NBA," the Bucks superstar said.

"I remember the last game I played [in Greece], it was the team we were playing in the finals and I shot a three and the guy fouled me. That was the last time it happened, in Greece seven years ago.

Eric Bledsoe #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by Reggie Bullock #25 of the New York Knicks during the first half of a game at Fiserv Forum on January 14, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1:24
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"That made my day today. But I definitely don't have that in my game yet, so let's stay humble here."

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Khris Middleton, who supplied 17 points to help sink the Knicks, has set the bar for the level Antetokounmpo hopes to reach when it comes to luring his match-ups behind the arc.

He added: "Khris is definitely good at that one, but I'm not on Khris' level of pump faking and getting guys to jump and then jumping into them, but hopefully eventually it's going to come.

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"I like guys backing up more, I don't like guys being into me too much. I think it just makes me tired, I've got to go through him to make a play.

"There will be times where guys will go up on me, sometimes guys are playing off me. I've just got to be aggressive all times."

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The reigning MVP dismissed the idea of establishing early advantages as a means of being able to rest earlier, instead stressing the risks of becoming complacent.

He is currently second behind Houston Rockets guard James Harden with 1,170 total points this season and leads the way with 429 field goals.

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He said: "I'm just trying to be aggressive, trying to make plays. When you come out with the mindset of trying to think about the lead and trying to make the lead 20, 30 or 40 that's where you mess up the lead. You've just got to keep doing your job.

"The last couple of games I've been trying to find my rhythm, play good basketball, find my team-mates.

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Ja Morant drew the plaudits once again on Tuesday as he inspired the Memphis Grizzlies to victory over the Houston Rockets.

"There's going to be nights I don't score and there's going to be nights where I feel good and I score more. I'm just trying to get better by each possession."

The Bucks will host the Boston Celtics on Thursday night before visiting the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

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