Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended left knee in the Milwaukee Bucks' 110-88 Game 4 loss as the Atlanta Hawks levelled the Eastern Conference Finals.
Antetokounmpo (14 points) landed awkwardly on his left leg with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter in Atlanta on Tuesday.
The two-time NBA MVP jumped up to contest an alley-oop from John Collins and Clint Capela, but his knee buckled before hobbling to the locker room, with the Bucks trailing 62-52.
Atlanta – already missing star guard Trae Young due to a bone bruise in his foot – made the most of Antetokounmpo's absence as they levelled the series at 2-2.
HOW?!?!? pic.twitter.com/ebjZdo2WR6— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 30, 2021
Young was ruled out of the clash after suffering the freak injury when he stepped on referee Sean Wright's foot in Game 3 at State Farm Arena.
But the Hawks showed they are more than a one-man team as Lou Williams and Bogdan Bogdanovic starred at home to the third-seeded Bucks.
Williams was efficient with 21 points on seven-for-nine shooting in his first ever playoff start as Bogdanovic added 20 points of his own.
The Hawks took control after outscoring the Bucks 26-16 in the second period and 36-24 in the third quarter.
Milwaukee had shot 50 per cent or better from the field in each of their last two games after not reaching that mark in any of their first 12 playoff games this year. The Bucks had won nine straight playoff games going back to 2018 when making at least half of their shots.
However, the Bucks were just 39.3 per cent from the field as Jrue Holiday (19 points) and Khris Middleton (16 points) were the only other players aside from Antetokounmpo to finish in double-digits.
Holiday's nine assists took his tally to 121 this postseason – the third most behind Oscar Robertson (149 in 1974 and 124 in 1971) after eclipsing Sam Cassell (120 in 2001).
Suns at Clippers
The Phoenix Suns have another chance to clinch their spot in the NBA Finals when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday. Fuelled by Paul George, the Clippers – trailing 3-2 – will look to force a Game 7.