Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo questions spot as MVP favorite

Giannis Antetokounmpo fired a ball right into James Harden's face and Twitter loved

"I definitely think it's our belief inside this locker room, and a lot just around the league, that we have the best player in the league right here", Bucks center Brook Lopez said.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't going to join in on the debate about whether he should be an early favorite for MVP after he led the Milwaukee Bucks to a victory over the Houston Rockets and last year's MVP James Harden on Wednesday night. The Greek Freak bruised and bullied his way to 27 points and 21 rebounds, getting to the line 14 times. Milwaukee capped a 17-1 run that ended the quarter on a 2-handed put-back by Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to go up by 15 points. He called the nationally televised win over Harden's Rockets "just another game", acknowledging it was fun playing in that kind of spotlight but emphasizing that the Bucks winning was important, not his individual statistics. But Harden missed his final four shots, including a pair of potential tying 3-pointers on the possession following his floater.

Harden still managed to pour in a game-high 42 points. Gerald Green chipped in 16 points off the bench.

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A weird play came in the third quarter when Antetokounmpo threw a pass across the lane and it bounced off Harden's face and back at Antetokounmpo, who dished it to Ersan Ilyasova for a 3. "It hurt. ... I wish I would have seen it".

But beyond those two headlining the show of potential title contenders, the victor of the contest was always going to come down to which team's supporting cast came through more consistently to ease the burden off of their superstar's shoulders.

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