In a relatively short period of time, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has established himself as one of the best players in today's National Basketball Association. Clint Capela chipped in 18 points and 13 rebounds, but the Bucks' balanced offense was too overwhelming.
Antetokounmpo and Harden will be duking it out for MVP the rest of the season.
Antetokounmpo admitted later he apologized immediately to harden, and said it was an accident.
Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points and 21 rebounds for the Bucks. "He does it in so many ways". Those debates about whether or not Harden is the best offensive player ever aren't out of line, not when you consider the way he generates offense for himself and his teammates. He's all over the court constantly. But Harden missed his final four shots, including a pair of potential tying 3-pointers on the possession following his floater.
"He's up there", Harden said.
"To be honest with you, all I care about right now is getting better, helping my team win", Antetokounmpo told ESPN.
If Antetokounmpo isn't the front-runner in the MVP conversation, he's on a very condensed shortlist for the top regular-season honor.
It was just the second 20-plus rebound game of Antetokounmpo's career, with the first coming almost a full year ago, on January 15 of last season. He called the nationally televised win over Harden's Rockets "just another game", acknowledging it was fun playing in that kind of spotlight but emphasizing that the Bucks winning was important, not his individual statistics. "That s- hurt. I didn't even know what happened". "We couldn't get to where we want to go because we couldn't get any stops".