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Giannis Antetokounmpo aimed to keep the basketball as a memento on the day he set a personal scoring record for the Milwaukee Bucks, but the ball was hidden by the Indiana Pacers.

The game on December 14 marked the third encounter between the Bucks and the Pacers in the season. Antetokounmpo and his teammates ended a two-game losing streak against the Pacers with a convincing 140-126 victory. During this historic game, Antetokounmpo scored an impressive 64 points, contributed 14 rebounds, three assists, and four steals. The Greek Freak entered the Bucks’ history books by surpassing Michael Redd’s 57-point record set on November 11, 2006.

On this record-breaking day, the NBA’s reigning MVP for 2019 and 2020 wished to take the game ball home. However, members of the Pacers seized the ball, intending to use it as a memento for Oscar Tshiebwe, a rookie who had just scored his first points in the NBA.

Upon discovering that the ball had been taken by the Pacers, Antetokounmpo, in frustration, swiftly entered the visitors’ locker room, obstructed by Bucks staff. Observing the home team’s superstar demanding the ball back, Pacers’ key players like Buddy Hield and Myles Turner loudly instructed their teammates, “Hold onto the ball, don’t let him get it back.”

On the Bucks’ side, Antetokounmpo’s teammates also rushed in, demanding the opponents return the ball. The Greek Freak later returned to the court with a disgruntled look, threatening the Pacers’ standout player, Tyrese Haliburton, saying, “Get in there and bring the ball out here.” On social media, many fans jokingly remarked that the Pacers defended the ball more vigorously than they defended the basket during the game.

After the heated exchange, Antetokounmpo eventually received a ball, but he expressed doubt that it was the actual game ball. “I don’t know anymore,” the 29-year-old superstar said during the post-game press conference. “I don’t know if that’s the ball used in the game. It feels like a completely new ball. I’ll just have to accept it.”

Antetokounmpo, who led the Bucks to an NBA championship in 2021 by defeating the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in the finals, had faced a similar situation in Game 6, the deciding game of the finals that year, when he was unable to take the ball home as a memento.

This season, Antetokounmpo continues to perform well, averaging 32 points, 10.8 rebounds, and five assists per game, helping the Bucks to a record of 17 wins and 7 losses, currently ranking second in the Eastern Conference.

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