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Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts to missing game-tying free throw vs. Celtics

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks had a chance to force overtime against the Boston Celtics in their season-opener on Wednesday, only for Giannis Antetokounmpo to miss a clutch free throw. Following Milwaukee’s heartbreaking loss, Antetokounmpo discussed his missed free throw at the end of the game versus the Celtics.

“One, two, three, four, five dribbles. Put the ball at your chin.” Antetokounmpo said, via The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. “Shoot it high. That’s what I say to myself over and over and over and over again.”

With only two seconds remaining in the game, Jayson Tatum made an unbelievable bank shot from the three-point line to give the Celtics a 122-120 lead. After a timeout from the Bucks, Tristan Thompson fouled Giannis, giving him a chance to send the game into overtime.

However, the two-time MVP would make the first free throw and miss the second, as the time expired. Despite the disappointing end to the contest, Antetokounmpo said that he’s going to use it as a learning experience moving forward.

“You learn from it and the more you’re in a situation like that, the more you can succeed, the more you can get the best out of moments like that,” Antetokounmpo said. “So I want to be in those moments. I want to be down the stretch. I want to shoot the last two free throws. I want to shoot the last shot.”

Last season, Giannis shot a career-worst 63.3 percent from the free-throw line while attempting a career-high 10 free throws per game. If free throws become a common issue for the Bucks’ franchise player moving forward, teams may begin fouling him instead of allowing him to take shots close to the rim late in games.

The Bucks will look to get their first win of the season on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors at home.