Giannis Antetokounmpo avenges Raptors playoff loss but unmoved by Drake provocation

By Ben Spratt 26 February 2020 5
Giannis Antetokounmpo avenges Raptors playoff loss but unmoved by Drake provocation

Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledged he had last season's Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals defeat to the Toronto Raptors on his mind as the Milwaukee Bucks won in Canada on Tuesday.

Eventual champions the Raptors rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to dump out Antetokounmpo's number one seed Bucks at Scotiabank Arena in May.

But the two teams are leading the way again in the east this year, and Milwaukee brought up 50 wins with a 108-97 success on their first return to Toronto since the playoffs.

Reigning MVP and 2019-20 candidate Antetokounmpo put up 19 points and 19 rebounds, and the victory was particularly encouraging as he witnessed a postseason atmosphere on the road.

"Yeah, you expect that [atmosphere]," he said. "It's the second time we've faced Toronto.

"We got the first one at home, and you know they're going to try to come out, set the tone and play hard. They're a team that don't stop playing hard.

"That's why they win so many games, that's why they're so good. You expect that, and we knew we had to come out here and earn it."

Asked whether he had thought of the previous meeting, the Greek added: "Obviously, obviously.

"You always remember the last time you played here, the performance you had. It was definitely on my mind."

Antetokounmpo would not be distracted, even as rapper Drake brought out WWE championship belts in a nod to a wrestling video the Bucks posted of their star man the previous day.

Toronto icon Drake had played the part of cheerleader as the Raptors roared past Antetokounmpo in May, yet the 25-year-old was not concerned by the superfan's latest attempts to get under his skin.

"I didn't notice that. I just found out about it. Somebody told me," Antetokounmpo said. "When I'm in the game, I'm just locked in, trying to win the game.

"I really don't look outside at the fans, at what they're doing.

"That's good [that Drake wanted to antagonise me]. He cares about me? I didn't know it. I'm just here to win games and help my team win."

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