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Playoffs 2020

NBA Playoffs 2020: Giannis Antetokounmpo's big game helps Bucks even series with Game 2 win vs. Magic

After they were stunned in Game 1 by the eighth-seed Orlando Magic, the league's top seed - the Milwaukee Bucks - bounced back and took care of business in Game 2.

After allowing 122 points a couple of days earlier, the Bucks put the clamps down in Game 2 and restricted the Magic to just 96 points. They took an early double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back, leading by as many as 23 in this one.

Here are the biggest takeaways from this contest:

Giannis dominates, joins Kareem in elite company

By his lofty standards, the 'Greek Freak' wasn't having a great shooting game. He even turned the ball over seven times, just one of his playoff career-high. That, however, didn't stop him from dominating the game.

In just 31 minutes of play, Antetokounmpo recorded 28 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists. In doing so, he joined some elite company.

He became only the fifth player in the NBA since 2000 to have at least 25 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists.

He received some handy help from a couple of his teammates. Brook Lopez finished with 20 points, but the back-up star to Giannis was reserve Pat Connaughton.

In 24 minutes, he recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists while finishing with a game-high +16.

Nikola Vucevic delivers again

A lot of things changed in Game 2 but the Bucks still didn't seem to have an answer for Nikola Vucevic.

After dropping 35 in Game 1, the 7-foot center finished with 32 points (13-23 FGs) in Game 2. He scored 16 of his game-high tally in the third quarter when the Magic reduced the Bucks' 23-point first-half lead to 12.

"He's a very, very good player," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said postgame of Vucevic. "We have a ton of respect for him, but I think overall our defense was in a good place."

He became the first Magic player since Dwight Howard in 2011 to record back-to-back 30-point games in the playoffs.

Bucks defence shows up

Milwaukee were owners of the league's best defence during the regular season, with a defensive rating of 102.5 and showed signs of that same intensity on that side of the floor in Game 2.

"He told us if we want to win and if we want to go far and if we want to be us, we've got to play defense, and we didn't do that in the first game," Antetokounmpo said postgame. "I think everybody took that personally.

They forced the Magic into 21 turnovers, which they converted into 16 points. The Magic, meanwhile, just shot 7-of-33 (21.2%) from 3-point distance after knocking down 16 on just 39 attempts in Game 1.

Up next?

The Bucks will look to carry this momentum into Game 3 when both teams face-off a couple of days later on Saturday, August 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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