Giannis Antetokounmpo sat on the bench in disbelief as Jimmy Butler sank a pair of free throws with an empty lane and no time on the clock Wednesday night time.
Simply moments earlier, the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Warmth have been knotted at 114 after Khris Middleton sank all three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point try. It arrange a wild end, one which noticed Antetokounmpo foul Butler on a shot try after the ball had left his fingers — a name confirmed by overview — and allowed the Warmth to stroll off with a victory in simply the third NBA playoff recreation to finish on free throws after time had expired, in response to Basketball-Reference.com information.
Antetokounmpo, the reigning MVP, wasn’t positive what to make of it.
“I attempted to make it powerful for Jimmy,” he stated after a 116-114 loss in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, left the top-seeded Bucks in a 2-Zero deficit within the Jap Convention semifinals. “The refs stated there was contact there. Possibly there was, I’ve obtained to observe the play. It’s what it’s. I attempted to contest the shot, however they stated there was contact there, so I’ve obtained to observe [the] play.”
Butler’s recollection was crystal clear, although.
“It was an iso, Goran [Dragic] made a helluva go on the inbound, then simply await the clock to exit,” Butler stated after scoring 13 factors with six assists. “A step-back jumper and I obtained fouled, pushed me within the again. Cannot deny that, after which I knew I needed to make one out of two so I ended up, I believe I made each of them and we win.”
Reflecting on the ultimate whistle, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated, “I might say we’re dissatisfied with the judgment, with the choice, the timing.
“It is a powerful job. I’ve loads of respect for the officers and the crew tonight. It isn’t a simple job, and naturally we now have our manner of seeing issues and we’re gonna disagree, however we have to shift our consideration to Sport Three and get ready for that. Perceive that that is crucial factor proper now.”
Crew chief Marc Davis stated the foul name was right.
“He have to be allowed the area to land and Giannis contacts him along with his left hand on his torso and I felt prefer it affected his steadiness and didn’t enable him the area to land in a standard basketball place,” Davis instructed a pool reporter postgame. “In consequence I judged this to be a taking pictures foul.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo may solely watch as Jimmy Butler sank a pair of free throws with 0.Zero on the clock to offer the Warmth a 116-114 win Wednesday and a 2-Zero sequence lead over the Bucks. Mark J. Terrill/AP
Middleton, who completed with 23 factors, eight assists and 6 rebounds, stated he has by no means witnessed a recreation play out in that style.
That is as a result of it hasn’t occurred since Sport 1 of the 1979 NBA Finals, when Larry Wright made the free throws. Middleton wasn’t born till 1991.
“It is undoubtedly powerful to exit like that, the place we did not even get an opportunity in any respect with no time on the clock,” Middleton stated. “I do not suppose I’ve ever seen that earlier than in a regular-season or playoff recreation. So, it is undoubtedly a troublesome solution to exit.”
Antetokounmpo completed with a game-high 29 factors and 14 rebounds on 10-of-18 taking pictures, however the Warmth made it powerful. His most important defensive task was Jae Crowder, who completed with 16 factors
Even after dropping to Miami twice within the common season and now twice within the postseason, Antetokounmpo nonetheless sees his staff as the one factor that may maintain again the Bucks.
“It is about us. It is at all times gonna be about us. That is why we follow. That is why we undergo our recreation plan. That is why we have got to come back out and play tougher. That is why we have got to make extra pictures. It is at all times gonna be about us,” Antetokounmpo stated. “It isn’t about what the opposite staff is gonna do. It is likely to be the Miami Warmth now, subsequent spherical is likely to be a unique staff, subsequent yr is likely to be a unique staff. It is at all times gonna be about us. How can we get higher? How can we not repeat the identical errors? How can we not down the stretch make turnovers? How can we create simpler pictures? It is at all times gonna be about us? It is by no means gonna be concerning the different staff that we’re enjoying.”
The Bucks are the 12th staff to path 2-Zero in a best-of-seven sequence after having the most effective file within the NBA throughout the common season, in response to ESPN Stats & Data analysis. The 11 earlier groups all misplaced that playoff sequence, and solely a type of sequence went seven video games.
ESPN’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.