Giannis Antetokounmpo has stated that he wants to produce so consistently that it becomes monotonous.
The only thing the two-time MVP has fallen short of recently is in that regard.
With a series of thrilling dunks and drives, Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 55 points as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Washington Wizards 123-113 on Tuesday night, snapping the Wizards’ five-game winning streak. In addition, the extraordinary forward had seven assists and 10 rebounds to continue arguably his best stretch of his career.
“I want to get in a position … that my game is boring,” Antetokounmpo said. “I just do what I do and people don’t talk about it because it becomes boring — I do it every single night. That’s what I want to do. I want other people to feel like my game is boring. But I don’t get bored. The greats — the best players — never get bored. They go out there and they always give their best any given night.”
In each of his last three games, Antetokounmpo has scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least 10 rebounds, and contributed at least 5 assists. Due to a sore left knee, the two-time MVP missed Sunday’s 118-95 loss to the Wizards.
The main different players in NBA history to have three straight exhibitions of 40 places, 10 bounce back and 5 helps are Elgin Baylor in 1961 and 1963, Shrink Chamberlain in 1963 and Russell Westbrook in 2016.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Flynn Robinson were the only other Bucks to score at least 40 points in three consecutive games in February 1969 and February 1972, respectively.
“He’s been kind of playing with this kind of determination, this kind of just willing us in games,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Tonight we were able to win it. He’s just been phenomenal.”
Brook Lopez, a center for the Bucks, is in his fifth season with Antetokounmpo. The 7-footer couldn’t think of a time during the regular season when Antetokounmpo had played better.
“He’s just constantly improving,” said Lopez, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds. “When you think where else can he go and how else can he improve, he just improves again. We’re going to have to expand the English language in some way to come up with words [to describe him]. I don’t know if I’ve said that before, but I’m sure he’s going to improve again. Who knows what he’s going to do next. He’s just so otherworldly.”
On March 17, 2019, Antetokounmpo scored 52 points in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, which was his previous career high. He just missed beating Michael Redd’s single-game franchise scoring record of 57 points against the Utah Jazz in November 2006.
After missing three games with a sore left hamstring, Washington’s Bradley Beal returned, but he only played 13 minutes. Before his hamstring injury kept him out of the second half, Beal scored eight points.
“Same area,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “We just have to get it evaluated.”
The Wizards were led by 22 points from Kristaps Porzingis and 20 from Kyle Kuzma.
Bobby Portis scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Milwaukee.
After missing three games with a non-COVID illness, Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday played 19 minutes and scored six points. With a sore right knee, Bucks forward Khris Middleton has missed eight games in a row and will also not play Wednesday against Toronto.