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The Celtics keep Giannis shackled in Game 2

After impressing in Game 1, Giannis Antetokounmpo was kept at bay by the Boston Celtics in Tuesday’s second game but insisted he won’t let frustration get the better of him.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics defends Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden on May 03, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP
Maddie MeyerAFP

Following a virtuoso display in Game 1, Giannis Antetokounmpo half-expected the Celtics to ramp up their man-marking. It turned out to be an exasperating night for the Bucks’ forward, who shot 28 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out seven assists - a marked dip compared to his triple-double on Sunday. He admitted afterwards that Boston made a point of keeping him in check. “It’s just been strong bodies being active, being physical, that’s pretty much it,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “It didn’t change much - the same activity, the same physicality. the same individual pride. I’ve seen it pretty much my whole career. The only thing is that it might be tougher to find your team mates because the pass has got to be late but that’s pretty much it”.

The Celtics took an 18-3 first quarter lead at TD Garden with Jaylen Brown shooting 10 points in just six minutes forcing the Bucks to call a timeout with 2:07 left on the clock. Jayson Tatum added 29 points and eight assists for the second-seeded Celtics, who avenged a 12-point loss two days earlier to even the series at 1-1. Grant Williams scored 21 off the bench.

Jrue Holiday scored 19 points and Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton finished with 13 apiece. But Antetokounmpo managed only 11 of 27 from the field, 1 of 4 from 3-point range and 5 of 9 from the free-throw line. “This is what basketball is about, you’re gonna make shots, you’re gonna miss shots. Being human is about feeling emotion - sometimes you’re going to be frustrated and sometimes you’re going to be happy. At the end of the day, you play basketball to make the right plays, to make the right decisions, find your team mates, make plays - that’s the way you play basketball. I don’t sit down and dwell on being frustrated - I just keep chipping away, finding solutions for myself and my team mates. I try to figure it out,” he mused afterwards.

With the series level, the action continues in Milwaukee on Saturday, giving both teams time to get their strength back. Antetokounmpo says he welcomes some time off to recover but won’t be dwelling on what might have been in the Game 2 defeat. When asked what he plans to do between now and Saturday, he said, “I go home, eat something, watch some Netflix or whatever, play with my kids. Get some shots up, practice, watch film… and get ready for Game 3. We know what the deal is. We did our job, now we ‘ve got to go back home and do our job again. It’s that simple”.


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