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Giannis Antetokounmpo ruled out of Game 5 by Milwaukee Bucks due to knee injury

Coverage of the NBA playoffs continues on Thursday night as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals with the series tied at 2-2. Join us live from 1.30am on Sky Sports Arena

Giannis Antetokounmpo is helped off the court after injuring his left knee against the Atlanta Hawks
Image: Giannis Antetokounmpo is helped off the court after injuring his left knee against the Atlanta Hawks

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night due to his injured left knee.

The two-time MVP hyperextended his left knee in the third quarter of a 110-88 Game 4 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.

The Bucks announced the next day that an MRI had confirmed the injury and that Giannis would be listed as doubtful for Thursday's encounter.

However, a few hours before Game 5 at the Fiserv Forum, the Bucks announced on social media that their 26-year-old star man would not be fit to play.

On Wednesday, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer had said the team were being cautious with Giannis.

"We'll just take it day by day and see how he's doing," Budenholzer said.

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Highlights of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Hawks

"When you talk about the range of possibilities, I think where this has landed has to be looked at as a positive. It's still a really difficult fall."

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Antetokounmpo was attempting to block a dunk attempt by Atlanta's Clint Capela when he landed awkwardly. He clutched his knee in obvious pain and remained down for several minutes before walking slowly to the locker room.

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Giannis suffered a hyperextended left knee injury after contesting a Clint Capela dunk during the Bucks' loss to the Hawks in Game 4

He briefly went back to the Bucks' bench and then returned to the locker room shortly afterwards.

The Bucks and Hawks are tied at two games apiece in the Eastern Conference finals heading into Game 5 on Thursday in Milwaukee.

Antetokounmpo has been averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the postseason. Milwaukee went 6-5 in the 11 regular-season games Antetokounmpo missed, including a stretch of six straight games in April when he also was dealing with an injured left knee.

"Guys get a chance to step up," Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said after Game 4. "Guys get a chance to make big plays and on the biggest stage. I feel like us playing without him has given us some rhythm and just knowing what it's like, making some adjustment that will be made. But at the end of the day, we'd rather play with him."

This is the second straight year that Antetokounmpo has dealt with an injury during the postseason.

Last year, the Bucks already trailed Miami 3-0 in the second round when Antetokounmpo sprained his ankle in Game 4, knocking him out for the rest of that series. The Bucks won Game 4 in overtime, but a Game 5 loss eliminated them.

The Hawks have their own injury issues.

Star guard Trae Young missed Game 4 with a bone bruise in his right foot, and center Clint Capela has inflammation in his right eye after taking an elbow in the face late in the game. Both players are listed as questionable.

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