NBA

Giannis on Crowder 'pulling the chair' in Bucks defeat: I don't want to get fined

By Sports Desk February 11, 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo said "I don't want to get fined" when asked whether he felt Jae Crowder had "pulled the chair" on him late in the Milwaukee Bucks' narrow defeat to the Phoenix Suns.

Bucks superstar Antetokounmpo went off for a season-high 47 points to go alongside 11 rebounds and five assists but it came down to a couple of late plays as the Suns ran out 125-124 winners.

In the Bucks' penultimate possession, the Suns regained the ball following the incident between Crowder and Antetokounmpo, who then missed a 20-foot buzzer beater.

The Bucks consequently saw a five-match winning streak snapped, but their main man was reluctant to get drawn into his thoughts on a crucial finish.

"I just don't want to get fined. What do you want me to say? You gotta live with it," he said when asked about Crowder.

"If people out there think he pulled the chair on me, I cannot change what happened. At the end of the day, it was a play. That's the part of what we gotta execute better.

"That's the part we have to get a shot off no matter what happens."

Asked how the Bucks can be better in clutch moments, he replied: "Practice, always practice. You cannot practice too much. Just got to trust one another.

"Who wants to have close games? We want to beat teams by 10, 15, 20 points but when we have close games we learn from it.

"Moving forward if we run the same play, I hope me and Khris [Middleton] don't turn the ball over. We have great players who can execute down the stretch.

"We have good playmakers who can read the right play and make the right play down the stretch. Game by game we learn from each possession."

It was a particularly frustrating game for the Bucks given they took a 71-59 lead into half-time after going 13-of-24 from three-point range.

Antetokounmpo finished 15-of-23 from the field, draining 15-of-19 from inside the arc.

The final play may not have gone how the Bucks wanted but head coach Mike Budenholzer will have no hesitation putting Antetokounmpo in that same spot in the future.

"Yeah, that's definitely one of the options for Giannis to be top of the key. He got a pretty good look. Definitely one of the options," he said.

"We want Giannis to continue to grow and develop and have the ball in his hands lots of different times, including late when one down.

"He can attack, he can find team-mates, him getting to a spot, getting a shot is part of his growth and his development – in the long run that's good for us.

"We got I think a little bit sloppy in the second half, there were some stretches we could have played with each other better.

"We weren't as sharp as we needed to be. We gotta be better defensively, they flipped it from a 12-point lead to six up or so. We weren't as good as we have to be second half."

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