NBA regular season

Bucks lose Giannis Antetokounmpo, beat Heat for 13th straight win

Bucks lose Giannis Antetokounmpo, beat Heat for 13th straight win

EARLY EXIT. The Bucks take care of things even minus Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves the Bucks' blowout of the Heat in the first quarter due to a knee injury

Jrue Holiday scored 24 points and Bobby Portis added 18 in his first game since January 23 as the Milwaukee Bucks won their 13th consecutive game, taking down the visiting Miami Heat, 128-99.

Giannis Antetokounmpo exited with 1:13 left in the first quarter due to a right knee injury, motioning the Bucks’ bench for a timeout and immediately heading on his own into the tunnel. He finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in just six minutes on the court.

Without their superstar, Milwaukee cruised with a balanced scoring attack. Brook Lopez scored 17 and grabbed 7 boards, Grayson Allen dropped 16, Khris Middleton added 12, and Jae Crowder scored 9 points in his Bucks’ debut and his first game of the 2022-2023 season.

Meyers Leonard also made his Bucks’ debut after Milwaukee awarded a 10-day contract to the big man who hasn’t played since 2021 due to injury and suspension after using an anti-Semitic slur on a livestream. He scored 5 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 15 minutes of action versus his former Heat teammates.

Miami was led by Jimmy Butler, who scored 23 points. Bam Adebayo added 18 and Caleb Martin scored 17, while new arrival Kevin Love grabbed 8 rebounds and dished 4 assists but failed to score. Tyler Herro returned from injury and scored 14 points in a return to his hometown.

Antetokounmpo is considered day-to-day looking ahead to the Bucks’ Sunday game against the visiting Phoenix Suns.

The star big man threw a pass to teammate Jevon Carter, then could be heard on the TV broadcast yelling toward the Bucks’ bench, “Stop! Stop!” as he hobbled under the basket.

Coach Mike Budenholzer called a timeout with 1:13 to go in the opening period, and Antetokounmpo limped off the court and immediately went down the tunnel to the locker room.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player didn’t return to action.

Budenholzer said postgame, “The basic update I got was he knocked knees and wasn’t able to return. So we’ll see how he feels (Saturday) and just evaluate him, take him day by day.”

Antetokounmpo had been considered questionable to play against Miami because of a right wrist ailment. The wrist injury limited Antetokounmpo to nine minutes in the Bucks’ previous game, a win over the Chicago Bulls on February 16. He made a brief appearance in the All-Star Game on Sunday, dunking on the first play before exiting.

But the Bucks were hot offensively from the get-go against the Heat, ending the first quarter on a 15-7 run and leading 42-32 after making 7 of their 19 total three-pointers in the opening frame. Their lead slowly expanded, stretching their advantage to 17 at halftime and only growing from then on.

Milwaukee earned a four-game season series split against Miami, winning each of the two matchups it played at home. 

The Bucks are currently in the midst of the longest active win streak in the NBA. –

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