NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to do things on the court rarely seen, if ever, in Milwaukee.
On Friday, Antetokounmpo tied his career high with 44 points in a win at Cleveland. It was just the 18th time a Bucks player has scored at least 44 points on the road and the first time in nearly a decade, with Michael Redd’s 44 in Sacramento on Jan. 16, 2009 the last time it was accomplished.
Overall, “The Greek Freak” was just the sixth Bucks player to tally 44+ points in a game away from home (side note: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was pretty good in his time in Milwaukee).


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 11/4/1970 Cavaliers 53
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1/27/1971 Celtics 53
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2/9/1972 Cavaliers 53
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2/13/1972 Celtics 51
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 3/17/1972 Lakers 50
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 10/17/1972 Trail Blazers 49
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 3/16/1971 Suns 48
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2/24/1970 Pistons 46
Flynn Robinson 2/22/1969 Pistons 45
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2/2/1972 Suns 45
Ricky Pierce 12/5/1989 Kings 45
Michael Redd 11/28/2006 Lakers 45
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 3/8/1970 Celtics 44
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 11/11/1970 Celtics 44
Glenn Robinson 12/7/1996 Bullets 44
Glenn Robinson 1/2/1998 Bulls 44
Michael Redd 1/16/2009 Kings 44
Giannis Antetokounmpo 12/14/2018 Cavaliers 44

In that win over the Cavs, Antetokounmpo also pulled down 14 rebounds. It was the his second career game with 40+ points and 10+ rebounds, having also done it Jan. 26, 2018 vs. Brooklyn (41 and 13).
Abdul-Jabbar (34) and Antetokounmpo are the only Bucks players with more than one game of 40+ point and 10+ rebounds, and only three others have reached those marks: Marques Johnson (40 and 12 on Dec. 12, 1978), Sidney Moncrief (43 and 12 on Nov. 19, 1983) and Ray Allen (40 and 10 on April 18, 1998).
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For an encore Monday, Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in Milwaukee’s victory in Detroit. It’s the second time in his career Antetokounmpo has posted back-to-back games with 30+ points, 12+ rebounds and 5+ assists (he had eight assists in the Cavs game; he also did it March 22-24, 2017) and since the 1983-84 season, only Terry Cummings (Feb. 27-March 2, 1985) has also had two straight games with such a statistical line for the Bucks.
Giannis also shot 73.7 percent from the floor against Cleveland and 71.4 percent vs. Detroit. No player has had back-to-back games in the NBA with 30+ points, 12+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 70+ FG% since Utah’s Karl Malone in January 1990.
Only 11 players (and 12 times total) since 1983-84 have had back-to-back games of 30+ points, 5+ assists and 70+ FG% — Abdul-Jabbar, Antetokounmpo, Barkley, Kevin Durant (twice), Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Corey Maggette, Malone, Calvin Natt, Scottie Pippen and Dwyane Wade.

Further: Since 1983-84, there have been just 20 instances of players with back-to-back games with 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 70+ FG% — none did it three straight. But those 20 times were done by just eight players: Antetokounmpo, Charles Barkley (3), Larry Bird, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard (2), Kevin McHale (2), Shaquille O’Neill (5) and Kevin Willis.
If you up the rebounds to 12 in each game, the list trims to 11 occasions, with Shaq doing it three times and Barkley twice.
Needless to say, there’s something special going on in Milwaukee.

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns