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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bucks’ Antetokounmpo ruled out of game 3 against Miami

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Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out of the third game of the Bucks’ NBA playoff series against the Miami Heat on Saturday an hour before tip-off.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player will miss a second straight game with a lower back contusion, suffered in a bad fall of the opening game of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer had indicated Friday that Antetokounmpo might be ready to take the floor, but said in his pre-game remarks to reporters that it’s not clear when he will return.

“We’ll continue to monitor him throughout the day (Sunday) and the next day,” Budenholzer said. “It’s not always a linear thing. He’s not in a position where he can play, so we’re going to continue to monitor and work with him and hope for the best.”

Without Antetokounmpo the Bucks won game two of the series to go into the Saturday’s game in Miami level at 1-1.

Antetokounmpo is just one of the high-profile players with injury concerns in the first round of the playoffs.

The Philadelphia 76ers were without another MVP candidate in star center Joel Embiid Saturday but still beat Brooklyn 96-88 to complete their sweep of the Nets.

The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in their 112-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns and Memphis’s star point guard Ja Morant was questionable for the Grizzlies’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

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