Dame Time in Giannis absence, Valanciunas dominates boards but loses to OKC

2024-04-22T09:53:24+00:00 2024-04-22T09:54:54+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

22/Apr/24 09:53

Stacy Revere / Getty Images / Ideal Image

Milwaukee Bucks takes the lead in the Playoff series despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

The Milwaukee Bucks opened the 2023/24 NBA Playoffs without injured Giannis Antetokounmpo but still managed to take the lead over the Indiana Pacers.

Damian Lillard took the reins and led Doc Rivers’ side to a 109-94 victory and a 1-0 lead in the first-round series.

Interestingly, Dame scored all of his points in the first half, but it was quite a half. He scored 35 points, the most for the first 24 minutes since Kevin Durant’s 38 for the Golden State Warriors against the LA Clippers.

Khris Middleton had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Bobby Portis added 15 and 11, while Brook Lopez scored 11.

On the other hand, Pascal Siakam had a great game with 36 points and 13 boards but didn’t receive enough support from his teammates. Myles Turner added 17 points and eight rebounds, while the only other player reaching double figures was T.J. McConnell, who had 10 points.

Clutch SGA leads Oklahoma past Valanciunas and the Pelicans

The first-seeded team from the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder, also grabbed the lead in the first-round series, taking down the New Orleans Pelicans 94-92 in the final moments.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made the difference, scoring 28 points and a decisive two-plus-one play in the dying moments.

Jalen Williams followed him with 19 and seven rebounds, while Playoff debutant Chet Holmgren had a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards.

On the other side, the sole European player in the match, Jonas Valančiūnas, had a strong performance. The Lithuanian center scored 13 points but dominated the rebounds, grabbing 20.

It wasn’t enough even with Trey Murphy scoring 21 and CJ McCollum 20 points, with the experienced guard missing the game-tying bucket at the buzzer. Brandon Ingram added 12 points for the losing team, which fought well without the injured Zion Williamson.