Bucks' Antetokounmpo leaves game vs. Heat with knee injury

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Giannis Antetokounmpo smiles as he picks his team before the NBA basketball All-Star game Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo left late in the first quarter of the Bucks' game against the Miami Heat on Friday night after the Bucks said he knocked knees with an opponent.

Antetokounmpo, who withstood a wrist injury to start the game, was on the court late in the first quarter when he passed the ball and immediately started motioning to the bench. The Bucks called a timeout with 1:13 left in the period to allow Antetokounmpo to leave the game and head to the locker room.

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Bucks officials announced early in the second quarter that the two-time MVP wouldn't return to the game because of what they said was a right knee issue. Antetokounmpo had four points, four rebounds and four assists in six minutes.

Antetokounmpo has missed a total of 11 games at various points this season due to a sore left knee. He was in the starting lineup just four days after traveling to New York to have his right wrist examined.

Antetokounmpo sprained the wrist Feb. 16 as the Bucks won 120-100 at Chicago in their last game before the All-Star break. He played only 20 seconds in Sunday’s All-Star Game while having the wrist wrapped.

But the two-time MVP didn’t have the wrist taped as he worked out Friday before the Bucks’ game with the Miami Heat. The wrist also wasn't taped when he opened the game.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer described Antetokounmpo’s rapid progress over the last week as “unbelievable.”

Antetokounmpo ranks third in the NBA in scoring (31.8) and second in rebounding (12.2).

Milwaukee also had Bobby Portis returning from a month-long absence and Jae Crowder making his 2022-23 debut as the Bucks chased their 13th consecutive victory.

Portis, who has been dealing with a sprained medial collateral ligament, was playing for the first time since Jan. 23.

The Bucks acquired Crowder at the trade deadline from the Brooklyn Nets, who had gotten him from Phoenix as part of the trade that sent Kevin Durant to the Suns. Crowder hadn’t been playing for Phoenix all season as the Suns attempted to work out a trade.

Cody Zeller and Kevin Love played for Miami. The Heat signed both veterans on Monday.

The Bucks didn’t have Pat Connaughton (sore left calf) or Wesley Matthews (strained right calf).


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