Giannis Antetokounmpo sets NBA record after 42-point exhibition vs. Wizards: ‘He’s unstoppable’ – Basketball Insiders
Giannis Antetokounmpo recently became the youngest player in NBA history to record 16,000+ points, 17,000+ rebounds, and 3,000+ in a career. The superstar’s latest milestone came after scoring 42 points on 20-of-23 shooting as the Bucks claimed their fifth-consecutive victory this Monday night.
In a game where The Greek Freak scored almost all of his field goals from close range and enjoyed one of his most efficient shooting performances, Milwaukee was able to defeat the Washington Wizards 142-129. The power forward explained his top exhibition after adding 13 rebounds and eight assists to his impressive stat line.
“Left block, right block, transition, rim run, off the dribble,” Giannis said postgame.“Roll, pop — just play random basketball. I think it’s harder to guard, harder for them to load up.”
The 28-year-old shot 87.0% from the field, the highest mark in a game by a player with at least 20 attempts since Mike Woodson’s 1983 48-point display with the Kansas City Kings. 40 years ago he went 22 of 24 (91.7%) against the Houston Rockets.
“Unstoppable,” his coach Adrian Griffin said about his star player. “He literally is unstoppable.” Antetokounmpo, however, wasn’t too convinced about his trainer’s perception of himself.
“I wish it was easy,” he said. “I wish I could come in and score 42 every game, but it’s hard. You’ve got to work extremely hard to get comfortable, to get in your rhythm, to get to your spot, to playmake for yourself, to playmake for your teammates. It’s hard.”
Despite their 10-4 mark so far this season, the Milwaukee squad are still suffering defensively. “I didn’t like much about our defence,” Griffin said after the Wizards shot 55% from the field. “Until the end, and we were able to start stringing some stops. It was tough.”
Khris Middleton became the fourth player to score more points for the Bucks franchise, only trailing behind teammate Antetokounmpo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Glenn Robinson. “It’s really cool, but he’s not catching me,” Giannis joked around. “He’s got a long way to go. No, but it’s awesome.”
“We needed everybody tonight,” his coach then added. “I thought for the most part we played some good basketball, but you can’t leave a team like that hanging around. Anybody can beat you on any given night.”
Damian Lillard revealed he wishes teammate Antetokounmpo will become this season’s league MVP
After the team’s 132-125 triumph against Dallas this weekend, Giannis also stacked up outstanding numbers with 40 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. That same night, teammate Damian Lillard contributed with 27 points, three rebounds and 12 assists.
“I think tonight, he’s the horse,” the ex-Portland star said of Antetokounmpo. “I wanna see him be four-time MVP or five-time MVP and have those type of games. And I’m here because I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve won a lot of games. I’ve had a lot of individual success, but I’m here to win.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo on his chemistry with Dame 🔥
“Sometimes [Damian Lillard] wants to operate the offense and you have to give him the ball… Game by game, we’re going to learn how to play with one another.”
— Hoops on 𝕏 (@Digits3Hoops) November 19, 2023
Dame believes that the secret to a successful partnership is to distribute responsibilities and find ways to complement each other.
“Us winning is not gonna look like my performances in Portland all the time even though there will be some of those nights. But like I said, he’s the horse and there’s gonna be a quarter where I jump out front and carry the load, I dominate a quarter. Or down the stretch, five minutes, six minutes, you’re gonna see me probably take control and take command of that because those are my moments. And it just has to be a balance of us both and us complementing each other leading to wins,” Lillard said.