Don't sleep on the champs. They seem to take it personal.
As the Boston Celtics garnered most of the first-round hype with an emphatic sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks quietly dispatched of the Chicago Bulls in five games. Well, the Bucks made plenty of noise on Sunday.
Milwaukee entered Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals as an underdog. That status is sure to change after an emphatic 101-89 road win over Boston with injured All-Star Khris Middleton watching on the sideline.
Giannis delivers message with highlight dunk
Boston kept things close early as Milwaukee opened up a 27-24 first-quarter lead. But the Bucks ground the Celtics down in the second quarter and opened things up after halftime in a game that wasn't as close as the final 12-point margin. As the Bucks salted the game away, Giannis Antetokounmpo landed a resounding exclamation point.
With around 6:30 remaining, the two-time league MVP and reigning NBA Finals MVP toyed with Grant Williams in the high post, tossed the ball off the backboard, then soared toward the basket to catch the ricochet and slam it home for a self alley-oop. Jayson Tatum, lauded for outplaying Kevin Durant in Round 1, hopelessly watched as his attempt to thwart Antetokounmpo under the basket proved to be no help.
"I always try to be aggressive," Antetokounmpo told ESPN's Jorge Sedano after the game. ... "My teammates want me to be aggressive. I try to get to the paint and make plays for my teammates and myself. And I was fortunate enough to make that play."
Like the rest of the game, the Celtics had no answer on the dunk for Antetokounmpo, who tallied 24 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. And now it's the Celtics left scrambling for answers after coming up with all of them against the Nets.