2023 Playoffs: East First Round | Bucks (1) vs. Heat (8)

Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) misses Game 2 vs. Heat

Milwaukee ties a postseason record for most 3-pointers made despite Giannis' absence.

Giannis Antetokounmpo cheers on his teammates from the sideline as he missed Game 2 due to injury.

The Milwaukee Bucks withstood Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence to rout the Miami Heat 138-122 on Wednesday night, tying the Eastern Conference first-round series at a game apiece.

Milwaukee shot 25 of 49 from 3-point range to match an NBA record for 3-pointers in a game as the Bucks showcased their depth by thriving without their two-time Kia MVP. Pat Connaughton, who hadn’t even played in Game 1, scored a playoff career-high 22 points and shot 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.

Bobby Portis filled Antetokounmpo’s usual spot in the starting lineup, finishing with 13 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, a steal and two blocks in 28 minutes of play.

“Everyone’s ready,” Bucks center Brook Lopez said. “Everyone has the right mentality coming into the game — the mentality it takes to be a Milwaukee Buck. There’s no one above anyone else. We’re just out there trying to win.”

Game Recap: Bucks 138, Heat 122

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said at his pregame availability that Antetokounmpo wouldn’t be available due to the bruised lower back that knocked the two-time MVP out of the Bucks’ 130-117 Game 1 loss on Sunday.

“(We were) hopeful that he would play and also aware that he might not,” Budenholzer said. “The guys are ready. The group’s focused and in a good place.”

Antetokounmpo had been listed as doubtful in the injury report Tuesday but was upgraded to questionable Wednesday. Antetokounmpo left the Bucks’ Game 1 loss for good early in the second quarter.

“He’s continued to improve, but organizationally and talking and working with him and the sports performance group, the decision was made,” Budenholzer said. “He’s out. The guys that are ready and the guys that are available are good to go. We’ll continue to monitor him and expect for him to improve and still continue to be optimistic that soon he’ll be ready to play.”

Antetokounmpo was forced out of Game 1 when he collided with Miami’s Kevin Love, who got called for a blocking foul on the play. Antetokounmpo landed awkwardly on his backside and lay on the floor before getting up slowly. He stayed in the game to attempt his free throws and didn’t leave until picking up his second foul with 1:46 left in the first quarter.

Antetokounmpo then headed into the locker room, only to return to the game with 9:56 remaining in the second quarter. He headed back to the locker room with 8:33 left in the second quarter and didn’t play again.

The Bucks went 11-8 in games Antetokounmpo missed during the regular season. That included a pair of losses in Miami, though the Bucks also beat the Heat 128-99 in a Feb. 24 game in which Antetokounmpo played just six minutes before leaving with a right knee issue.

The Bucks also were missing guard Wesley Matthews, who had strained his right calf in Game 1. The Heat didn’t have Tyler Herro, who broke his right hand in Game 1 and likely won’t return this season unless Miami reaches the NBA Finals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.