But, in the end, Antetokounmpo simply couldn’t be stopped.
The Bucks edged out a 127-125 win over the Hornets at Fiserv Forum, thanks to a winning contested layup in the final seconds from Antetokounmpo.
LaMelo Ball hits wild tying bucket
Ball, with the Hornets down by three points with 8.6 seconds to go, caught the ball from an inbounds pass, took one dribble and fired over Bucks guard Pat Connaughton.
As Ball landed on his back out of bounds, the ball fell perfectly into the net.
“He’s a fantastic player. We’re lucky to have him, we’re fortunate to have him,” Hornets coach James Borrego said, via Bally Sports. “On the road against maybe one of the elite teams, the NBA champions, on the road, his fearlessness and his composure is fantastic … This is just the tip of the iceberg. The kid’s got a bright, bright future.”
Ball, however, left way too much time left on the clock — and Antetokounmpo took full advantage.
Antetokounmpo caught a pass from Jrue Holiday at the top of the key and easily drove to the rim and placed it in across his body to give the Bucks the two-point win, their eighth straight.
“That’s a hell of a finish. He’s just so talented, and he does so much around the rim,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, via Bally Sports. “And I think the dunks and everything get a lot of attention, probably for good reason, but I think his ability to use the glass and his ability to play fast, that’s when you’re going downhill that hard to have touch off the board and things like that — it’s just a great finish, a great play by Giannis.
Antetokounmpo was just one assist shy of a triple-double in the win, as he finished with 40 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists while shooting an impressive 15-of-24 from the field. Ball led Charlotte with a career-high 36 points and nine assists on the night, and shot 8-of-15 from behind the arc.
Naturally, after their battle and the stunning finish, the two met at half court and swapped jerseys before parting ways into the locker room.
LaMelo and Giannis swapped jerseys after a WILD finish 🤝
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 2, 2021