Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is hard enough to stop as is, but when he gets to the line a whopping 22 times in one night, it’s next to impossible. Something Kyrie Irving and the Celtics learned in their 123-116 loss in Game 3 on Friday night.
But it’s also something Irving clearly had a problem with, as the Boston leader explained in his postgame press conference.
“I mean, it’s inevitable: Guy comes down almost six times in a row and gets free throws. What are you really going to do?” Irving said. “It’s slowing the game down. So, the run you would hope to make in a quarter like that doesn’t happen.
“I mean, he shot 22 on the game. It’s getting ridiculous at this point. It’s just slowing the [expletive] game down.”
After Game 3 loss to Bucks, Celtics' Kyrie Irving on Giannis Antetokounmpo's free throw attempts: "He shot 22 on the game. It's getting ridiculous at this point. It's slowing the f---ing game down." pic.twitter.com/GMvCYjRBTx— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 4, 2019
Antetokounmpo’s attempts at the line legitimately dwarfed everybody else.
The next closest Buck (Khris Middleton) had six free throws and Irving was the only Celtic to have double-digit free throw attempts, with 12, and the Bucks as a whole largely dominated this game at the charity stripe before some fourth-quarter fouls on the Bucks helped Boston finished with just four fewer free throw attempts than Milwaukee (36 to 32).
“The third quarter is where they made their mark on the game,” Irving said. “The refs have a difficult job. We have a difficult job. Obviously I can sit up here and complain. We know the disparity and what it is. But I’m not going to put all the emphasis on the refereeing. I think there are a lot of controllable things on our end that we can be better at.”
Game 4 will be Monday night at TD Garden.