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Giannis suffers calf injury; Warriors sink Lakers

GIANNIS Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks goes down with a left calf injury during their 104-91 win over the Boston Celtics in the NBA regular season. | STACY REVERE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a calf injury as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics while the Golden State Warriors outgunned the Los Angeles Lakers in their crucial heavyweight showdown.

Former National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Antetokounmpo crumpled to the court in a non-contact incident in the third quarter of the Bucks’ 104-91 defeat of Boston after in-bounding to teammate Damian Lillard.

Antetokounmpo, who missed games last month with an Achilles injury, hobbled off the court in clear discomfort and did not return to the game at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.

The Bucks said Antetokounmpo had suffered a left soleus strain and would get an MRI scan to assess the injury.

“They’re checking him now,” a downcast Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers said when quizzed on Antetokounmpo’s injury after the win.

Asked what level of concern there was about Antetokounmpo’s injury, Rivers replied: “Good question. High, I would say that. He’s Giannis.”

“I think everyone probably feels the same way as I do right now. So, we’re just going to hope for the best.”

Any significant injury to Antetokounmpo would be a brutal blow to the Bucks’ hopes of making a deep run in the playoffs.

The Greek star had scored 15 points with eight rebounds and seven assists before leaving Tuesday’s game.

The injury overshadowed what was an encouraging victory for the Bucks over the runaway Eastern Conference leaders, who are already assured of top seeding throughout the postseason.

The Celtics led briefly in the first quarter but thereafter trailed to a Milwaukee team that led by 24 points in the second quarter.

The Bucks retained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game, with Patrick Beverley leading Milwaukee scoring with 20 points.

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla drew positives from his team’s defeat as they prepare for the challenges of the playoffs.

“It’s good for us to be in a bunch of different situations,” Mazzulla said.

“That was the first time that the game hasn’t gone our way since I can’t remember when… it’s a good situation for us because we haven’t seen it for a while.”

The Golden State Warriors unleashed a barrage of three-pointers to overwhelm the short-handed Lakers, 134-120, on the road.

The Warriors poured in 26 three-pointers from 41 attempts outside the arc, with Stephen Curry posting a perfect 6-of-6 from long range in a 23-point haul.

Klay Thompson added five three-pointers while even Draymond Green cut loose with five threes against a Lakers team missing the injured Anthony Davis.

LeBron James led the Lakers scoring with 33 points while Austin Reaves added 22 and Rui Hachimura 20.

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