Giannis Antetokounmpo rips the Clippers apart with a huge fourth quarter, seals the Bucks win with an emphatic dunk

With just over 10 seconds to the end of the fourth quarter on Sunday, Giannis Antetokounmpo was leaping high across the court, a huge smile etched on his face. He had just landed a thunderous blow to put the Milwaukee Bucks up three-fold over the Los Angeles Clippers, and send the limited fans inside the Fiserv Forum into euphoria.

A miss by Kawhi Leonard and two free throws by Khris Middleton later, the Bucks had clinched a 105-100 victory to extend their winning streak to five straight games. The season hasn’t quite gone according to plan for the Bucks, but things are starting to look up for the title contenders. Jrue Holiday is back in the lineup after a 10-game absence, and after Sunday’s win, they have moved to a first-place game in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to keep working,” Giannis said after the victory. “We have a long way to go. We have to keep playing basketball well, keep making the right decisions, creating good habits and hoping that everything will work out in the end.”

But while Giannis wasn’t ready to claim the team had turned a corner, his performance was one more reminder that even if the Bucks haven’t been their usual dominant self this regular season, they are capable of beating anyone in the league. when he plays his best basketball.

His finish line reads like a video game: 36 points on 15 of 27 shots from the field, 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. But the way he completely took over the fourth quarter and guided the Bucks home was the most impressive aspect of Giannis’ afternoon. There was an incredible amount of talent in the game, but he made it clear that he was the best player on the court.

Giannis played the entire fourth quarter and scored 17 of the Bucks’ last 22 points. In fact, he nearly matched the Clippers’ total for the quarter (19 points) on his own. But he wasn’t just doing it on the offensive. He also had several key defensive plays, including one of the best blocks of the season on Ivica Zubac.

In his last 10 games, Giannis is averaging 33.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists, while shooting 55.2 percent from the field. He even apparently solved his free throw problems and is shooting 75 percent from the line during this stretch. The Bucks’ slow start to the season overshadowed what he was doing on an individual level, but on Sunday he made sure he was not ignored.

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