BASKETBALL

Giannis says he will learn from late free-throw miss

Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a last-gasp free throw as the Milwaukee Bucks opened the new NBA season with defeat to the Boston Celtics.

'Upset' Giannis will learn from costly late free-throw miss

Giannis Antetokounmpo was "upset" at his inability to guide the Milwaukee Bucks to victory in their NBA season-opener against the Boston Celtics but insisted he would learn from the experience.

Antetokounmpo was playing his first regular season game since signing a new five-year supermax contract worth a reported $228million but fluffed his lines at the death by missing the second of two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining.

In a frantic finish, Antetokounmpo scored with the first of two shots from the line but the second bounced off the rim and away to safety as the Celtics edged it 122-121.

The two-time MVP finished with 35 points and 13 rebounds in an otherwise impressive display and vowed to learn from the experience.

Aiming to learn from bad experience

He said: "I'm upset about it, but you can't change it. So it's done.

"Hopefully when I'm in the same position, I can make the next one. That's the mentality you've got to have. But obviously there's a little bit of a weight on your shoulders [in those situations] because, if you miss, that's it for your team.

"I'm a winner, and I want to do whatever it takes for my team to win. But, you know, you learn from every situation that basketball puts you in.

"I want to be in those moments. I want to [have the ball] down the stretch. I want to shoot the last two free throws, I want to shoot the last shot, because if you think about it, if you do that a thousand times, some of the times it's going to go in. Some of the times, you're going to be the hero.

"And some of the times, you're going to miss. But you learn from it."

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was full of praise for Antetokounmpo for putting himself in that position, saying: "I love that he's there, game on the line, opening night, going to the free throw line.

"He's been working on it. He knows how important it is. Of course we would love to win, you want to come out, you want to have success, but there's so many good things that happened, including Giannis going to the free throw line with the game on the line.

"You can't duplicate that in practice and he's just going to get better and better as we go forward."