‘Greek Freak’ is a ‘monster’

February 14, 2019
Giannis Antetokounmpo
ANTETOKOUNMPO: Another game, another triple double.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple double with 33 points 19 rebounds and 11 assists as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their longest road winning streak in 33 years with a 106-97 win over Indiana.

Antetokounmpo had a hand in every basket by the Bucks in the first quarter and led them back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth.

“The team did a great job keeping its composure,” Antetokounmpo said. “We changed the lineup, played harder and switched everything. We were able to make Indiana go one-on-one, and I think we did a better job rebounding the ball and running the floor.”

The three-time all-star from Greece carried the NBA-leading Bucks to their seventh consecutive win on the road on Wednesday. It is the longest road winning streak since the 1984-85 season. Milwaukee has also won eight of their last nine games just before the league’s all-star break.

The Pacers couldn’t contain Antetokounmpo, who scored a dozen points as the Bucks went on a 30-11 scoring burst to end the game. In the first quarter he made five of their nine baskets and assisted on the other four.

“He’s a monster,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan said. “Nineteen rebounds? He is starting their break rebounding the ball and they were able to score 23 fast-break points off our misses and turnovers.”

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points and Darren Collison added 14 to lead the Pacers, whose  six-game winning streak ended with this one.

Antetokounmpo made consecutive layups to tie the game 95-95 with just under four minutes to go in the fourth.

He then fed Ersan Ilyasova for a layup to make it 97-95 and the Bucks ran away with it from there with superior scoring down the stretch.

“There are only so many things you can do,” said Pacers forward Thaddeus Young, who was assigned the task of defending against Antetokounmpo.

“But when he’s trying to post you up in the middle and is just spinning, he’s already at the rim. It’s just a tough battle.”

Elsewhere, Damian Lillard scored 29 points as the Portland Trail Blazers snapped Golden State’s 11-game road winning streak with a 129-107 win that featured Warriors coach Steve Kerr losing his cool and being thrown out for arguing with the officials.

Jake Layman added 17 points off the bench for the Blazers, who had eight players in double figures. The win snapped a two-game skid.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry each had 32 points for the Warriors, who watched the game turn on a flagrant foul called on Draymond Green.

Portland led 110-103 before Green was called for an elbow to the face of Collins with just under four minutes left.

Kerr reacted angrily, slamming his clipboard down and yelling at referee Ken Mauer before he was ejected. It was just the second time Kerr has been ejected from a game.

“I was just shocked they called a flagrant foul,” said Kerr. “That was head-scratching.”