Bucks’ Antetokounmpo to start in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Local News

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball semifinals game against the Brooklyn Nets Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

PHOENIX (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals after being sidelined with a knee injury.

Antetokounmpo worked out on the court before the game Tuesday night and showed Bucks officials that he was healthy enough to play against the Phoenix Suns after missing two games with a hyperextended left knee.

Coach Mike Budenholzer said he was sure the two-time MVP would be able to make an important contribution, even if he couldn’t score as much as usual.

“The way he scores, and his skills are very unique, and so yeah, a lot of confidence that he’s going to be able to impact winning in a really positive way whenever it is that he plays,” Budenholzer said. Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the postseason.

The Bucks had listed Antetokounpmo as doubtful on Monday, but upgraded him to questionable earlier Tuesday. He was on the court doing dribbling and shooting work to test out the injury a couple of hours before the game.

Antetokounmpo was injured in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals when he landed after leaping to defend a lob pass to Atlanta’s Clint Capela. He missed the final two games of that series.
Budenholzer said Monday that Antetokounmpo was doing work on the court and making progress, but provided no other details.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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