MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo drove to the basket and took a hard fall.
And just like that, the championship aspirations of the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks got quite a bit more precarious.
Antetokounmpo landed hard on his backside after getting fouled in the first quarter and left the Bucks' Eastern Conference playoff opener for good early in the second quarter on Sunday. Milwaukee lost 130-117 to the Miami Heat.
“There was an X-ray that was clear here,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We’ll monitor him and see how he does, see how he wakes up, how he feels the rest of tonight and tomorrow.”
Game 2 of the series is Wednesday in Milwaukee, and the Bucks will hope the two-time MVP is feeling better by then.
“We have to wait and see what the doctors say, most importantly what Giannis says," Budenholzer said. “Certainly we've been blessed with him being resilient and quick to heal, but you’ve just got to take it day by day, see how he’s doing and see how he feels.”
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Antetokounmpo got up slowly but remained in the game to take his free throws after getting fouled by Miami’s Kevin Love with 4:13 left in the first quarter. He stayed in the game until picking up his second foul about 2½ minutes later.
After getting removed from the game, Antetokounmpo went to the locker room. He returned with 9:56 left in the second quarter but exited again with 8:33 left in the half and didn't return.
“Didn't look comfortable, confident,” Budenholzer said. “It felt like the right thing (to keep him out).”
Antetokounmpo had six points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.
The Heat had their own injury concerns. Miami's Tyler Herro broke his right hand late in the second quarter.
Jimmy Butler scored 35 points and No. 8 seed Miami had built a 68-55 halftime advantage before Herro’s departure and stayed ahead by shooting 59.5% (50 of 84) from the floor. The Heat were 15 of 25 and the Bucks 11 of 45 from 3-point range.
Herro appeared to hurt his hand while diving for a loose ball late in the first half. He was in obvious pain while standing in front of Miami bench during the final minute of the second period, and the Heat disclosed the severity of his injury at halftime.
Herro had scored 12 points before his injury. Antetokounmpo ended up with six points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.
Bam Adebayo had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Heat. Butler had 11 assists. Love had 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 33 points and nine rebounds. Bobby Portis had 21 points. Jrue Holiday added 16 points and 16 assists, though he shot 6 of 18 from the field.
Miami seized control of the game before Antetokounmpo’s injury as the Bucks appeared disjointed after a long layoff. None of the Bucks’ starters had played since at least April 5, when they won at Chicago to clinch the NBA’s best regular-season record and top playoff seed.
The Heat led by as many as 14 in the first half. Antetokounmpo left the game for good during a 9-0 Bucks run that cut Miami’s lead to 43-42, but the Heat answered with a 12-2 spurt and remained in front the rest of the way.
Heat: Ranked just 27th in the NBA in 3-point percentage (34.4) in the regular season. ... Were 17-24 in away games, including a 9-17 mark against East teams.
Bucks: This is the third time in five seasons the Bucks have been the NBA’s top overall playoff seed. The other two times, they lost to Toronto in the 2019 East finals and fell to Miami in the 2020 East semifinals. ... The Bucks are making their seventh consecutive playoff appearance, the second-longest active streak to Boston’s nine. The franchise record for consecutive postseason berths is 12 from 1980-91.