Giannis Antetokounmpo returns to start Game 1 of NBA Finals
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, returning from a knee injury, started Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the host Phoenix Suns and scored the contest’s first point Tuesday night.
Just 16 seconds into the game, Antetokounmpo was fouled and made one of two free throws.
Out the previous two games because of a hyperextended left knee, Antetokounmpo was upgraded from doubtful to questionable earlier Tuesday. His status was to be a game-time decision as he participated in pregame warmups.
“I think the word we’ve used is he’s making progress,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said about 90 minutes before the game. “He did some work on the court. We’ll take a second and listen to him in the back, listen to the medical (team), listen to the sports performance group.”
ANOTHA GIANNIS DUNK. pic.twitter.com/Xg8uN7WbKh
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 7, 2021
Antetokounmpo, 26, sustained the injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks won the series in six games despite the absence of the two-time league MVP for the final two contests.
Antetokounmpo entered play Tuesday averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 15 games this postseason.
The Bucks are making their first NBA Finals appearance since 1974 and seeking their first title since 1971.
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