Giannis Antetokounmpo Goes Off on Trail Blazers for Career-High 44 Points

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2017

Milwaukee, WI - OCTOBER 21: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks and put his team in the lead against the Portland Trail Blazers on October 21, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Giannis Antetokounmpo showed the rest of the NBA what making the leap looks like when he erupted for a career-high 44 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' 113-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday night.

Antetokounmpowho also recorded eight rebounds, four assists and two steals—was particularly prolific in the fourth quarter, when he poured in 17 points and stitched together one of the most impressive sequences of his career to seal the win.

With 12 seconds remaining and the Bucks trailing by one, Antetokounmpo poked the ball away from Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum, raced the other way and finished with authority from the dotted circle to put Milwaukee in front.

As if that weren't impressive enough, Antetokounmpo also rotated down into the paint on the ensuing defensive possession and denied a potential go-ahead layup from Jusuf Nurkic to seal the result in Milwaukee's favor.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Antetokounmpo said he decided to dedicate the performance to his father, Charles, who died of a heart attack before the start of the regular season:

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The Bucks' official Twitter account also relayed a photo of the game ball in Giannis' locker that was inscribed with a note to his dad:

Now three games into the 2017-18 season, Antetokounmpo is averaging 38.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals on 67.2 percent shooting from the field.

"Seventy-nine more," he told reporters after the win, according to the Associated Press (via Fox Sports). "This is just the beginning."

The Bucks will return to the floor Monday evening when they host the Charlotte Hornets in search of back-to-back victories.