Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury in the third quarter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ 110-88 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
The two-time NBA MVP hyperextended his left knee while playing defense against Atlanta big man Clint Capela with 7:14 left in the third and was forced to leave the game.
With the win, the Hawks evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Game 5 is on Thursday in Milwaukee. The Bucks don’t know yet if their injured superstar would be able to return to action.
Knowing the team’s success depends greatly on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer noted that it also needs key contributions from other players.
“We’ll take everything as it comes,” Budenholzer told reporters after Game 4. “We’ll evaluate it. We’ve got a heck of a team, a heck of a roster. … The guys will prepare. They’ll be ready.”
Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday said the Greek Freak’s injury appeared to be major.
“I think just based on how he was grabbing his leg, it seemed like it was pretty bad,” Holiday said later.
Filling in for Young
Veteran guard Lou Williams replaced Trae Young in the starting lineup and scored a team-high 21 points. Young injured his left ankle in Game 3 and sat out the next game.
“I knew about an hour before this game that I was going to start, when they said Trae was out, so I just had to refocus my energy, put on a different hat and get ready for the game,” Williams said.
Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20 points for the Hawks in a bounce-back win.
Haws pull away after Giannis Antetokounmpo gets injured
After Giannis Antetokounmpo left the game, Atlanta used a 25-8 spurt to close out the quarter and take an 87-62 lead.
By all accounts, it was a poor performance by the Bucs, who trailed 51-38 at the intermission.
Furthermore, it proved to be an insurmountable lead for the Hawks, one that added drama to the series.
What a difference a game makes
Milwaukee rallied for a victory in Game 3, with Khris Middleton leading the way with a team-best 38 points.
In the next game, Middleton struggled to score. Though he finished with 16 points, he was 0-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc. As a team, Milwaukee shot just 39.3 percent from the floor, including 8 of 39 on 3-point attempts.
Hoiday paced the Bucks with 19 points and doled out nine assists. Before the injury, Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 14 points on 7-for-19 shooting, eight rebounds, three assists and one block.