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Playoffs 2019

NBA Playoffs 2019: Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer explains why Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't on the floor late in Game 5

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(NBA Getty Images)

It was a sight that left many fans scratching their heads as Giannis Antetokounmpo exited Game 5 briefly, with the game on the line.

With 1:12 remaining and the Bucks trailing 99-95, Antetokounmpo sat, with coach Mike Budenholzer explaining post-game that the decision to bring him out was not for rest, but due to an ankle injury.

"He twisted his ankle in the backcourt," Budenholzer said. "He just looked like he was in a lot of pain and maybe couldn't move. We had an offensive possession. Just maybe get somebody out there who could move, make a shot.

"I think it [the pain] kind of wore off - the adrenaline wore off, and he was able to go back in."

Antetokounmpo went down briefly after making contact with Kawhi Leonard after the Raptors star secured a rebound, grabbing his ankle while playing defence before heading to the bench following a foul call on the ensuing possession.

He eventually returned to the court with 34.7 seconds remaining, before a Pascal Siakam dunk and free throws from Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell iced the game, 105-99.

The Bucks now head to Toronto down 3-2, looking to force a Game 7 back on their home floor.

"Game 6 is really important," Antetokounpo said post-game. "We know as a team that we lost three straight, it's something new from us but we gotta go to Toronto and we gotta get Game 6.

"We gotta fix anything we're doing wrong right now and just try to play winning basketball. We've created great habits all year long, so hopefully it comes out in Game 6."

Antetokounmpo finished with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists in the loss.

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