A hyperextended knee didn’t stop Giannis Antetokounmpo from having one of the best quarters in NBA Finals history.
The two-time MVP scored 20 of his playoff career-high 42 points in the third quarter Thursday night, despite Milwaukee losing to Phoenix, 118-108, to fall behind 2-0 in the series.
Antetokounmpo become the fourth player in NBA history to score 20 points in a single quarter in a Finals game — putting him in good company alongside NBA greats Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars.
Jordan was the last to do it when he scored 22 points in the second quarter of a Finals game on June 16, 1993.
Antetokounmpo, who shot 15-fot-22 from the field, also recorded 12 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and one steal in one of the best postseason performances of his career.
The 26-year-old went 11-for-18 from the free-throw line, as he tried to find his rhythm through the countdown chants by Suns fans trolling his lengthy free-throw routine.
Antetokounmpo’s monster performance in Game 2 came just nine days after he suffered what appeared to be a gruesome knee injury in Game 4 against the Hawks. He was later diagnosed with a hyperextended left knee that forced him to miss a week of action, before he returned to the lineup to start the Finals series.
While Antetokounmpo carried the weight in Game 2, his Bucks counterparts looked lost.
Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday continued his struggles from Game 1, finishing Thursday’s loss with 17 points on 7-for-21 shooting. Khris Middleton’s lackluster performance also contributed to Milwaukee’s upset, as he went 5-for-16 from the field.
“I think no matter what we say, we know what the deal is,” Antetokounmpo said after the loss. “It’s as simple as that. We’ve got to go back home and do our job. They did their job. We’ve got to do our job.
The Bucks will host Game 3 on Sunday night.