Antetokounmpo leaves with back injury as Bucks lose game one to Miami

Antetokounmpo left the game in the first half with a back strain
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo lays on the ground after an injury during the first half...
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo lays on the ground after an injury during the first half in Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff game Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: Apr. 16, 2023 at 7:20 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WSAW) - The Milwaukee Bucks began their 2023 NBA Playoff journey on rocky footing Sunday, falling to eight-seed Miami in game one of their best-of-seven playoff series 130-117. In the loss, the Bucks also lost their two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to a back injury.

The Heat started the game hot, jumping out to an early 22-12 lead. Late in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went in for a layup, but took a hard fall and came up holding his back. He gave it some run, but ultimately went back to the locker room and was ruled out for the rest of the game with a lower back strain. His status moving forward is uncertain.

Miami continued to shoot the ball well in Antetokounmpo’s absence. The Heat led the Bucks by 13 at halftime, 68-55. Milwaukee continued to chip away, consistently keeping the game within arm’s length. However, the big difference in the game was the three-point shooting. The Bucks finished 11-44 from distance, just 25%. The Heat finished 15-25 from three, a 60% clip, their highest percentage of the season. Miami closed out the fourth quarter with that sharpshooting to win 130-117.

The Bucks weren’t the only ones with a substantial injury. The Heat lost former ‘Sixth Man of the Year’ and Milwaukee-native Tyler Herro to a broken hand late in the first half and did not return.

Game two of the series is Wednesday night in Milwaukee. The game tips off at 8:00 p.m.