Bridges on Antetokounmpo’s health: ‘You saw what he did to my layup’

Jul 8, 2021, 10:17 AM | Updated: 10:52 pm

The health of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo was a mystery prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday after the big man missed the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals due to a hyperextended left knee.

Antetokounmpo went from doubtful to questionable to probable and then included in the starting lineup the span of a day. So it truly wasn’t known whether the Suns would be facing the two-time league MVP at full strength.

It was pretty clear the injury didn’t hamper him too much.

Just ask Suns wing Mikal Bridges, whose layup on a fast break was blocked by a streaking Antetokounmpo.

“You saw what he did to my layup so leg’s looking hot right there,” Bridges told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I was just trying to get the layup and I kind of saw him at the end and I was trying to get the ball up quick and the ball kind of died … it just stopped in the air and he just came and sent it.

“That was crazy.”

Despite Antetokounmpo starting the game well, scoring five points, gathering five rebounds and contributing two assists, the big man was only held to five points during the second and third quarters.

He finished with a double-double, recording 20 points, 17 rebounds and four assists.

“You know, obviously not trying to make it about me, but felt great,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “You know, the medical staff cleared me to play, and you know, out there I had my balance. Thought my knee was stable. Did not feel pain. So I felt good.”

Even with Antetokounmpo back on the floor for the Bucks, the Suns were still able to dominate for a majority of the second half and took Game 1, 118-105.

The Suns take a 2-0 lead into Game 3 of the Finals against the Bucks into Milwaukee on Sunday. Tip-off is 5 p.m. and all the action can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Suns Station. 

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