Monday, September 26, 2022

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 41-point performance the most in a EuroBasket game since Dirk Nowitzki in 2001

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Another day, another jaw-dropping performance from two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. This time, it came against Ukraine in the EuroBasket tournament, as he dropped 41 points en route to a 99-79 win for Greece. Antetokounmpo’s 41 points were the most in a single EuroBasket game since Dirk Nowitzki dropped 43 points in the same tournament back in 2001 for Germany, putting Giannis in impressive company. 

It’s just the latest standout performance from Giannis in what’s been an impressive tournament so far for him and Greece, whose win over Ukraine clinched the top spot in Group C. From the start of the game, Antetokounmpo made his presence known, going on a 7-0 run of his own to open the contest. After sitting out Greece’s previous win against Great Britain, the NBA champion came out well rested and asserted his size and strength in the paint. It was clear Ukraine was ill-equipped in matching up against Antetokounmpo, and he made sure to expose that every time he drove to the paint.

Greece certainly needed a dominant performance from Giannis, especially in the second half as Ukraine led 46-39 after two quarters. Antetokounmpo delivered with ease, putting up 10 points in the third quarter on a perfect 5-5 from the field. It was Giannis’ two made free throws with just under five minutes left in the third quarter that helped Greece regain the lead. From that point on Greece never trailed again, and at one point jumped out to a 22-point lead late in the fourth quarter.

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The win moved Greece to a perfect 4-0 in the tournament with one more game remaining in the group stage before advancing to the knockout round. With the way Giannis has played so far — averaging a tournament-leading 31 points per game — there’s a good chance Greece could walk away champions of EuroBasket later this month. 

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