Giannis Antetokounmpo: Bucks Were 'A Little Bit Out of Rhythm' in Game 1 vs. Bulls

Doric SamApril 18, 2022

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo drives past Chicago Bulls' Patrick Williams during the first half of Game 1 of their first round NBA playoff basketball game Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Despite taking a 93-86 win in Game 1 of the first-round series against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo felt like his team wasn't playing at the level it usually does.

Antetokounmpo told TNT's Dennis Scott after the game that he felt like the long layoff in between games affected Milwaukee's play.

"It's been long eight days, nine days, without playing a game. We were a little bit out of rhythm, we didn't play the best basketball that we usually play," he said. "Nobody played well tonight, but as a team we were able to get the win. But hopefully Wednesday we can come out and play better basketball and get another one."

Milwaukee led by as many as 16 points in the first half before its offense hit a wall and Chicago clawed its way back into the game. The Bucks shot 14-of-26 in the first quarter but went 20-of-58 the rest of the way to finish with a field-goal percentage of 40.5. Milwaukee also shot just 26.3 percent (10-of-38) from three-point land.

The Bulls cut the lead to one in the fourth quarter. Zach LaVine later attempted a game-tying three-pointer that missed the mark with 29 seconds left, allowing Milwaukee to secure the win.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Brook Lopez added 18 points, and Jrue Holiday had 15. But Khris Middleton had an uncharacteristically inefficient game, finishing with just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

Milwaukee also was surprisingly sloppy Sunday, totaling 21 turnovers. Middleton accounted for seven giveaways by himself, while Antetokounmpo wasn't much better with five turnovers.

The Bucks were able to secure the victory with their defense, as the 86 points by the Bulls was the lowest single-game total of any Milwaukee opponent all season. Chicago shot 32.3 percent from the field, which was a season low.

The teams will have a couple of days off before taking the court again for Wednesday's Game 2.