Giannis Antetokounmpo managed to keep his cool Wednesday night, this despite feeling that Blake Griffin and his Pistons teammates were playing “dirty.”
The NBA’s reigning MVP knows opponents will do everything they can to get under his skin, but vows to rise above it.
Antetokounmpo finished with 35 points to lift the Milwaukee Bucks to a 127-103 win—their 13th in a row—over Detroit.
Per The AP:
“They’re just a great defensive team and just play really physical,” Antetokounmpo said. “They want to be physical, they want to be dirty. They want you to get out of your game, and whenever you come in Detroit, you expect that.”
There were six technical fouls in this game, and there were words exchanged during a couple mild altercations. The first involved Antetokounmpo and Griffin after those two collided around midcourt in the second quarter.
“There’s going to be a lot of teams that are going to come out and try to be physical with me — try to hit me, knock me down to the floor,” Antetokounmpo said. “I just got to keep my composure.”
In the third quarter, Antetokounmpo fell to the ground after being fouled, and then Griffin stepped over him. Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton came over to confront Griffin. Three technicals were assessed after that.
“That’s going to happen. In a competitive game, it’s going to happen,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “If anything, that should get you more focused, more riled up, more ready to play, more ready to compete and more ready to be physical and finish at the rim. All those things you have to do in a competitive game like that, a physical game like that.”
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