In the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting to help the Bucks overcome a 17-point deficit. Milwaukee led by one as time neared expiration. Antetokounmpo, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, hounded Jayson Tatum on the perimeter.
Tatum wasn’t fazed.
He banked in a 3-pointer that stood as the game-winner in the Celtics’ 122-121 season-opening win.
On the other end, Antetokounmpo drew a foul on a lob attempt with 0.4 seconds left. But Antetokounmpo – who has a history of overthinking free throws – missed his second attempt. He also missed both his shots in the final three minutes, raising more questions about his clutch ability after the Bucks disappointed in the last two postseasons. That might not be fair after only one game, but expectations are quite high for Milwaukee.
Both team’s stars shined overall in the potential Eastern Conference Finals preview.
Jaylen Brown 33 points
Tatum: 30 points
Antetokounmpo: 35 points
Kris Middleton: 27 points
Jrue Holiday: 25 points