Giannis on Game-Winning Layup vs. Hornets: I'm Getting Old So I Have to Be Sneaky

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo shoots during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 127-125. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo had some jokes following his game-winning layup in the Bucks' thrilling 127-125 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

According to ESPN's Jamal Collier, Giannis said the following regarding his decision to go with a finger roll: "If you just go normal, most likely you're going to get blocked, so you've got to be sneaky with it. I'm getting old. I'm not able to dunk on people anymore, so I've got to be sneaky."

With just seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied 125, Antetokounmpo drove to the net and converted the layup with two seconds left:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

GIANNIS HAD THE LAST WORD!! <a href="https://t.co/QbhGiLZay7">pic.twitter.com/QbhGiLZay7</a>

A desperation three-point heave nearly went down for Charlotte before ultimately rimming out, securing the win for Milwaukee.

The layup capped a huge performance for Giannis, who scored a game-high 40 points to go with 12 rebounds and nine assists in a near-triple-double. He was also efficient, making 15 of his 24 field goal attempts and nine of his 13 free throws.

There was a great deal of excitement entering Wednesday's game given the fact that the Bucks are the defending NBA champions and the Hornets are the highest-scoring team in basketball, and neither side disappointed.

Second-year rising star LaMelo Ball went blow for blow with Giannis throughout the game, finishing with 36 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals.

The Bucks got off to an uneven start this season, which led to some questions about a potential NBA Finals hangover, but the reigning champs have undoubtedly hit their stride.

With Wednesday's win, the Bucks have now reeled off eight consecutive victories, and their 14-8 record has them tied for second in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.

Meanwhile, Ball and the Hornets fell to 13-11, which has them ninth in the conference, although they are just percentage points behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics.

Despite only being 26 years of age—he'll be 27 on December 6—Giannis is already a nine-year NBA veteran with two NBA MVP awards and an NBA Finals MVP award to his credit.

With averages of 27.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game this season, Antetokounmpo is very much in contention for MVP honors once again.