Giannis Antetokounmpo had already picked up his dribble and spent half of a Eurostep when he realized he had nowhere to go with the ball.
Instead of attempting an off-balance shot or passing to a well-guarded teammate, the two-time NBA MVP flicked the ball high off the backboard, then followed it to the rim for a slam dunk.
“What did I see? I had the ball and I was like, ‘Oh, crap. I’m going to get stuck,’” Antetokounmpo said after recording his second career postseason triple-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks
“I threw it to the backboard,” he said. “I’m lucky enough that God blessed me with the ability to jump. I had a good jump to go get it again and I was able to finish the play.”
Antetokounmpo had 24 points,13 rebounds & 12 assists as the defending NBA champions swiped home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.(He does not get an assist for passing the ball to himself.)
“That’s just pure talent, just pure instinct,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He’s a great player. He does things that are unique and special and timely.
Jrue Holiday had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Bobby Portis had 15 points and 11 boards for the Bucks, who are back at the TD Garden for Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 21 and Jaylen Brown had 12 points, but the two Boston stars combined to shoot 10 for 31 in the game. Al Horford added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics
who fired up 50 3-pointers, making 18, and shot 33% from the floor as a team.“Offensively, not our best night. I thought we guarded well enough,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.