Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Headlines

Giannis-led Bucks beat Hornets in historic Paris NBA game

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo drives towards the basket in the first ever NBA regular season game in Paris © AFP / FRANCK FIFE

PARIS, France, Jan 25Giannis Antetokounmpo delighted a sold-out Paris crowd with 30 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks over the Charlotte Hornets 116-103 Friday in the first-ever NBA regular-season game in the French capital.

The game had a party feel with Paris Saint-Germain football stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe courtside and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was greeted with thunderous applause when he was presented to the crowd at the AccorHotels Arena.

Michael Jordan, the greatest-ever NBA player who is now the Hornets’ chairman, has done more than anyone to spread the sport’s popularity around the globe and he told reporters before the game: “I’m glad that I was a part of it but I think it will continually get bigger because of the passion for the game of basketball.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said before the game that the NBA would return to Paris for “many more years to come”.

The Bucks were sluggish in the first half and trailed the Hornets until the end of the third quarter, when George Hill slashed to the basket for an easy layup and reigning league Most Valuable Player Antetokounmpo imposed himself around the rim on the way to his impressive double-double.

Brazil star Neymar and his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe were courtside at the Paris NBA Game © AFP / FRANCK FIFE

Malik Monk top-scored for the Hornets with 31 points but the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks just had too many weapons and Antetokounmpo’s powerful dunk with five minutes remaining was the sign that the game was effectively over as a contest.

After a quiet start, the Greek playmaker, who will again captain against LeBron James in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, burst into life in the second quarter when he wrestled the ball from Cody Zeller and reverse-slammed over the hapless Hornet.

Antetokounmpo said the journey to Europe had taken its toll in the early stages.

“We didn’t a play for four days, but that’s no excuse,” he said. “We started the game and we weren’t playing the basketball we usually play. Hopefully we can learn from this today and learn that they are not just going to give us the game, we have to fight for it.

He said the atmosphere in the Paris arena had been “amazing”, adding: “It felt for everybody like we were playing at home.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Experienced Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe supplied the ammunition for Antetokounmpo and finished with 20 points himself.

Nicolas Batum, the French national team captain whose presence in the Charlotte lineup helped ensure their involvement in this history-making game, had a quiet night with only five points but his every move was cheered loudly by his compatriots.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

More on Capital Sports

Football

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon champion has been slapped with a four-year ban by the World Athletics Disciplinary...

NFL

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved