NBA

Giannis has 'no idea' if he received game ball after 64-point haul

By Sports Desk December 14, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo suggested the Indiana Pacers may have taken the game ball that should have come his way after his 64-point haul on Wednesday.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Pacers 140-126, with Antetokounmpo recording a franchise record in the process.

He surpassed the previous record haul for a Buck, set by Michael Redd in 2006. Antetokounmpo's previous career high was 55, set against the Washington Wizards in January.

However, Antetokounmpo was angered when the Pacers apparently took the game ball and headed for the locker room, and a scuffle then broke out.

And the 29-year-old is unsure whether the ball he received was actually the one used in the game.

"I have no idea. I'm not going to lie, I have no idea – I really don't know," he said.

"I have a ball but I don’t know if it’s the game ball. It doesn't feel like the game ball to me – it feels like a brand new ball.

"I played 35 minutes, I know how the game ball felt. The ball I have, which I'll take and I'll give it to my mum for sure, doesn't [feel like the game ball].

"But it's okay, life will continue. I've never seen this before. I don't know if I have the game ball.

"I know they [the Pistons] had the game ball. I don't think [that], I know." 

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle claimed there had been a "misunderstanding" at the end of the game.

He said: "What happened after the game was unfortunate. There was a misunderstanding about the game ball.

"It was Oscar Tshiebwe's first official NBA point, so we always get the game ball. We were not thinking about Giannis' franchise record, so we grabbed the ball.

"A couple of minutes later, several of their players ended up in our hallway, and there was a big, I don't know what to call it – a fracas, melee, whatever. I don't think any punches were landed, but my general manager got elbowed in the ribs by one of their players."

Antetokounmpo added 14 rebounds, was 20 of 28 from the field in this one and went 24 of 32 on free throws.

"It's a great feeling. It’s a great feeling, being able to do it," Antetokounmpo said.

"As much as I can, I try to play basketball for the right reason, I try to play basketball to win, try to play basketball to help my teammates be great, but at the end of the day, being able to break this record in front of the fans here in this stadium, it's a great feeling, too."

Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said: "He's an unstoppable player. You can't guard him one-on-one. You've got some really good guys surrounding him, but at the end of the day, it's all him.

"His talent. His ability. His will. He has an incredible will to win, and he'll do whatever it takes to win. I'm just coaching the game and one of the coaches told me, 'Yeah, Giannis has 50. I had no idea.' But wow, what a great performance."

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