The Milwaukee Bucks handled the Indiana Pacers 142-133 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday night, and reigning back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did MVP things in the process.
Giannis is the second Bucks player with 40 points, 15 rebounds and 75% shooting in a game.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 14, 2021
The other was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. pic.twitter.com/H2IVu0r6QT
ESPN Stats & Info added that the 26-year-old Greek Freak is the first player in the league to record such a game since Charles Barkley in 1988.
Every dunk from Giannis as he SMASHED Indy:— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 14, 2021
40 PTS | 15 REB | 6 AST | 14/18 FG pic.twitter.com/E3JTPjXCbl
Those numbers are part of a larger statistical feat that Giannis is on the edge of claiming:
Giannis Antetokounmpo is now shooting 80.6% in the restricted area on the year.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 14, 2021
That's on pace to be the best by any player in a season over the last 25 seasons, with a minimum of 200 attempts.
Giannis has taken 535 of those shots. pic.twitter.com/ltrikwYPK2
The 45-25 Bucks are nestled in as the No. 3 seed behind 47-23 Philadelphia and 46-24 Brooklyn atop the Eastern Conference. The other three squads to clinch guaranteed playoff berths are 40-31 Atlanta, 39-31 Miami and 39-31 New York—the Knicks' first postseason trip since 2013.
Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee with 28.4 points per game and 11 rebounds per game, while his 5.9 assists per game are second only to Jrue Holiday (6.0).
The Bucks will finish their regular-season campaign by hosting Miami on Saturday, then Chicago on Sunday.