Giannis Antetokounmpo Put up Another Historical Stat Line and the Milwaukee Bucks Sent a Major Warning to the NBA in Dismantling the Golden State Warriors

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks played host to the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 13 in a game that didn’t necessarily have season-altering implications but would undoubtedly be a measuring stick for both teams. Well, Giannis’s stats were once again historic, and the Bucks cruised to an easy win over Stephen Curry and Co.

It was proof of what Milwaukee can do. And the Bucks weren’t even at full strength as they played without starting point guard Jrue Holiday, who’s in the midst of a career season.

Giannis’s individual domination — and the Bucks’ domination as a team — should be a warning to the rest of the league that the defending champions are favorites to repeat.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks destroyed Golden State

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks sent a message to the NBA with a win and another historical stats line by The Greek Freak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a 3-point shot during the second half of a game against the Golden State Warriors. | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Milwaukee came out firing on all cylinders and wrapped up its 19-point win early. The final score isn’t indicative of how powerful the Bucks were.

The team never trailed, scored 37 points in the first quarter and led by 16, and stretched that lead to 77-38 by halftime.

According to ESPN, that was only two points shy of the franchise’s largest halftime lead — which it set earlier this season against the Orlando Magic on Nov. 22.

In his first game back from COVID protocols, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said everything started with his team’s effort on the defensive end.

“I think there was a good focus from us tonight,” Budenholzer said via ESPN. “I think when it starts on the defensive end, usually that’s when we’re at our best.

“A team like the Warriors, a player like (Stephen) Curry and (Klay) Thompson, they bring out the best in you. They bring out the highest focus.”

Steph’s assessment of his team’s loss was brutal and to the point:

“We just got off to a terrible start where everything went wrong on both ends of the floor,” Curry said.

But the win also included another all-time night from Antetokounmpo.

The Greek Freak put up another historical stat line in the win

Giannis finished with a triple-double, putting up 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.

In only 30 minutes.

According to CBS Sports, his third triple-double of the season gave him 28 for his career, which ties him with Michael Jordan on the all-time list.

Antetokounmpo led both teams in scoring, assists, and blocks, of which he had three.

Even more impressive, according to StatMuse, The Greek Freak’s triple-double makes him the first player with multiple 30-point triple-doubles in 30 minutes or less in the past four decades.

Giannis said in his postgame presser via Bucks.com that everything stemmed from just trying to make the right decision on each possession:

“Just make the right play,” he said. “Find my teammates. (The Warriors) are going to show a crowd – make the right pass, try to get in the paint, try to be aggressive.

“At the end of the day, you get to a position that you’ve seen pretty much everything. Now you just have to let your instinct take over, try to be in the moment as much as possible, and hope that you make the right play.”

The eight-year veteran has been making progress on his reading of the game and his passing ability. That’s been working out well for both Giannis and the Bucks — and it’s benefitting everyone in more than just the stat column.

His improvement in that aspect has opened up the other parts of the two-time MVP’s game and has unleashed Milwaukee’s offense.

Which should terrify the rest of the league.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stats and the Milwaukee Bucks rout of the Warriors should serve as a warning to the NBA

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Again, with the caveat that this isn’t necessarily a season-changing win, the defending champions’ complete wrecking of one of the best teams in the league should prove a warning sign to other contenders.

Golden State was without defensive stalwart Draymond Green. Sure, that made it easier for the Bucks offensively.

But Milwaukee was without Holiday, the team’s point of attack on defense and tertiary scoring option beside Antetkounmpo and Middleton.

The Bucks had no issues on either end of the floor without one of their most crucial players.

Every aspect of Milwaukee’s annihilation of Golden State should serve as a warning to the rest of the league that the Bucks remain the front runners for this year’s NBA title.

All statistics unless otherwise noted courtesy of ESPN.com.