StaTuesday: Giannis’ impressive 20-point scoring streak
In his fifth season in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo has turned into something of a scoring machine.
Entering Tuesday’s games, Antetokounmpo is second in the NBA in scoring at 29.6 points per game, behind just Houston’s James Harden (32.4) and ahead of such noted heavy bucket producers LeBron James (28.1) and Kevin Durant (26.2). Only one other player in Milwaukee Bucks history has ever averaged at least 27 points per game, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who did it six times.
With such scoring proficiency obviously comes a bevy of 20+-point games. Antetokounmpo has played in 29 games this season. He’s had 20 or more points in 28 of those. His only sub-20 outing was Nov. 1 at Charlotte, a game in which Khris Middleton had 43 points (and Malcolm Brogdon 20).
Ever since that contest, Giannis been lighting up the scoreboard, including seven games with more than 30 points.
With another 20-point game against Chicago on Tuesday (for what it’s worth, he’s scored 22 or more points against the Bulls in six straight games, dating back to December of last year), Antetokounmpo will increase his streak of such games to 22, breaking a four-way tie for fifth-highest streak since 2015-16 (the year Giannis started averaging more than 30 minutes per game). In that span, only eight players (Harden has done it twice) have had a streak of 20 or more games with 20+ points.
Prior to this season, Antetokounmpo’s longest 20-point streak was 14 games, from between Dec. 10, 2016-Jan. 6, 2017. His 21-game streak puts him in elite company in franchise history.
He’s just one of four players to score 20+ points in 15 or more consecutive games, joining Abdul-Jabbar, Terry Cummings and Marques Johnson. Only Abdul-Jabbar had a longer streak that Antetokounmpo, who needs six more games to break the Hall of Fame center’s stranglehold on the top-five spots in Bucks history.
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns