Wed | Dec 19, 2018

Disputed dunk lifts Bucks over Thunder

Published:Sunday | December 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) shoots the winning basket as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook applies pressure during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, on Friday night. The Bucks defeated the Thunder 97-95.


Even though he stepped out of bounds on the play, Giannis Antetokounmpo's basket, with 1.3 seconds left counted, and that's all that mattered to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Antetokounmpo scored 23 points - including what proved to be a questionable game-winning basket which he scored over Russell Westbrook - and the Bucks ended Oklahoma City's six-game winning streak, beating the Thunder 97-95 on Friday night.

Replays clearly showed Antetokounmpo stepped on the baseline on his drive. After a desperation heave by Westbrook fell short, Thunder coach Billy Donovan and several of his players pleaded for a review, but officials Derek Stafford, Ben Taylor, and Leon Wood refused. Stafford later told a pool reporter that the play wasn't reviewable.

"In any reviewable matter, there has to be a whistle called on the floor," Stafford said. "There was no whistle blown for the play, so we couldn't review it."

Donovan said the official told him they couldn't' review the play.

"I look at things totally differently," Donovan said. "The league and the officials have to deal with that. That's what they're in control of or not. I'm more concerned about the fact that we didn't play well in the first quarter. There were some things that we needed to do better. Obviously, he stepped out of bounds. Everybody knows that. I did not get a chance to personally see the replay. I was trying to ask for a review. They couldn't review it, but that's something they have to deal with and the league has to deal with. I think the things I try to focus on is, what do we have to do to get better?"

Antetokounmpo said that he hadn't yet seen the replay and wasn't aware that he had stepped out of bounds.




"It was his ball to come up with a play for himself or make a play for someone else, and we did the right thing," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said of Antetokounmpo's basket. "I don't understand the whole protest. I can only worry about the score and then them trying to put time on the clock, getting the guys prepared to have a last-second play."

Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 40 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists and hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left.

Friday's Games: Washington 121 Houston 103; Toronto 111 Atlanta 98; Brooklyn 111 Miami 87; Chicago 119 Indiana 107; Dallas 128 New Orleans 120; Milwaukee 97 Oklahoma City 95; Phoenix 111 Sacramento 101; Charlotte 111 Golden State 100; L.A. Clippers 121 L.A. Lakers 106.