MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo’s religion in his workforce remained unshaken after Thursday evening’s 105-99 loss in Recreation 5. Certain, the loss gave the Toronto Raptors a Three-2 sequence lead within the Japanese Convention finals. Certain, the Bucks had by no means trailed on this sequence.
However when Antetokounmpo was requested about whether or not the Bucks have been going to crumple the best way the Boston Celtics did within the convention semifinals, he shot again with a really stern reply.
“We’re not gonna fold,” Antetokounmpo vowed, reducing off the query. “We’re the perfect workforce within the league. We’re gonna go in, give it every part we bought. We won’t fold. We’re gonna come again to Milwaukee being pissed.”
Just like the Celtics, who received the primary sport of their sequence with Milwaukee earlier than dropping the subsequent 4, the Bucks have fallen right into a gap within the convention finals after successful the primary two video games, dropping three straight to Toronto.
The Bucks had a number of alternatives to take management of Thursday’s sport. They jumped out to a 10-point lead after the primary quarter, and on the half, the Bucks led by three.
The sport got here right down to the final two minutes. Antetokounmpo slammed down an alley-oop from Malcolm Brogdon with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left in regulation to trim the Raptors’ three-point result in one.
The Bucks’ bench jumped up in celebration, and it appeared, for a second, as if this sport might go both manner.
On the subsequent possession, Kawhi Leonard missed a Three-pointer. As Antetokounmpo and Leonard jostled for the rebound, Antetokounmpo landed awkwardly on his proper ankle and inadvertently fouled the Raptors’ star.
Antetokounmpo headed to the bench, strolling gingerly on his ankle. He had tweaked that very same ankle within the common season. With the Greek Freak on the bench, the Raptors constructed a three-point lead. A sequence of late errors, most notably a turnover from Brogdon and a missed jumper from Khris Middleton, proved pricey.
Antetokounmpo completed with 24 factors, six assists and 6 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe added 20 factors for the Bucks.
Whereas questions of why Antetokounmpo wasn’t in for a few of the sport’s last pivotal minutes swirled the web, Kyle Lowry stated he did not suppose twice about Antetokounmpo sitting. Lowry instructed ESPN it was clear he tweaked his ankle.
“One factor about Giannis, he is been enjoying his ass off,” Kyle Lowry instructed ESPN. “I might by no means blame Giannis for something. Typically pictures are simply missed, turnovers occur, it is the sport. Why does there must be blame? Giannis goes to be (certainly one of) the perfect one, two or three gamers within the league for the subsequent ten years.”
After the sport, the Bucks’ locker room was subdued. Antetokounmpo sat icing his toes and consuming a post-game snack. Finally, he put a protecting compression sleeve on his proper ankle. He sternly declined to make small discuss. George Hill and Bledsoe left in a rush with out chatting with reporters.
Antetokounmpo dismissed questions on his ankle, saying it felt “positive” and he “would not keep in mind” what precisely transpired that led to rolling it.
He insisted the Recreation 5 loss did not really feel totally different than every other loss this season.
“I simply wish to win,” Antetokounmpo stated. “I believe we had an opportunity to win it, however we did not. Clearly, I am pissed. I’m not gonna deceive you. We bought two extra video games to go.”
Now, the Bucks head into extra uncharted territory: trailing heading into Recreation 6 on the street.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan contributed to this report.