Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo put together a triple-double in the team’s 117-111 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night – at least that is what it said on the stat sheet.
The one-time NBA MVP had 23 points and 13 assists and toward the end of the game needed only one more rebound to solidify his fourth triple-double of the season. He rebounded his intentionally missed shot to secure the mark. He dribbled to the basket and tossed the ball off the backboard to rebound it.
“I was thinking about scoring the ball, but I feel like in those situations it’s best to kind of keep the ball,” Antetokounmpo told reporters after the game. “But yeah, I just try to play the game smart and kind of stole one.”
Antetokounmpo invoked shades of former Atlanta Hawks guard Bob Sura and former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Davis with the move.
Sura was with the Hawks for 27 games during the 2003-04 season. He tried to record his third straight triple-double in a game when he purposely missed a layup to get his own rebound. The NBA would disallow the shot because Sura had no intention of making the field-goal attempt.
Davis was one rebound short of his first career triple-double in 2003. He took an inbounds pass and dribbled to the other side of the court to intentionally miss and collect the rebound. The act caused major outrage in the NBA, including from then-Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan.
It is unclear whether the stat line will still count.
Milwaukee moved to 1.5 games over the Boston Celtics for first place in the Eastern Conference with the victory.
“We feel like we’ve got a lot of depth,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are good shooters that can get hot from the 3-point line. So that’s part of a good team and being able to play on back-to-backs and make it through the season and be prepared for the playoffs.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.