Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reigning MVP, but for as dominant as he is, he has one major flaw in his game: shooting. Whether it’s jump shots or free throws, Giannis puts up some ugly misses every single game, and Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder was no different. Late in the first half, he tossed up an airball from the free throw line, something that’s becoming a rather regular occurrence for him.
His frustration was obvious as he made his way to the bench a few seconds later, and cameras caught him ripping his jersey. And check this out, he did it with his teeth. For good measure, he kicked a giant hole in a sign as he made his way back to the locker room at halftime. He wasn’t just mad about the free throw, though, as he finished the first half with just 11 points
The good news for the Thunder was that their success limiting the Greek Freak meant they took a 56-50 lead into the break. The bad news was that they were going to have to deal with a fired-up Giannis in the second half. Boy did they ever get one. Just a minute into the third quarter, Giannis got loose for a powerful slam which seemed to revitalize him.
Over the next 23 minutes, he terrorized the Thunder on both ends, taking his frustration from a poor first half out on every drive to the rim and big play on the defensive end. He did exactly what an MVP is supposed to do, leading the Bucks back in front on the road at the end of a long trip. Thanks to his big second half, which culminated with an incredible steal and slam, the Bucks took down the Thunder, 121-119, to finish their road trip 3-1.
Milwaukee had to survive a late comeback attempt by the Thunder, but they wouldn’t have even had such a big lead at the end of the game if it wasn’t for Giannis. He put up 24 points and 10 rebounds on 9-of-11 shooting from the field — and a perfect 5-of-5 from the line — in the second half to finish with 35 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.
It was his sixth straight 30-point game, which is the longest such streak of his career, and set a new Bucks record. And with the win, the Bucks improved to 7-3 on the season, just one game back of the Celtics for the best record in the East.