NEW YORK -- The Milwaukee Bucks never trailed Sunday afternoon, maintaining a comfortable lead over the Brooklyn Nets that didn't drop below seven points in the second half on the way to a 109-94 victory to improve to six games over .500 for the first time since March 2015.
That being the case, the Bucks experienced one of their scariest fourth quarters of the season to date. Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Matthew Dellavedova went down with right ankle injuries during that quarter as the Bucks put the finishing touches on the win at the Barclays Center.
"It's tough, but other players have got to step up," said point guard Eric Bledsoe, who poured in a team-high 28 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, nine of those coming after the injuries to Dellavedova and Antetokounmpo.
First, with 10:41 on the clock, Dellavedova collided with Nets guard D'Angelo Russell, sending both players to the floor. Russell was whistled for blocking and fouled out of the game.
That play was also the last of the afternoon for Dellavedova.
Immediately and obviously in pain, Dellavedova grabbed at his right ankle. He was able to get up and limp off the court. On the sideline, Dellavedova pulled his jersey up over his face and let out a muffled scream of frustration. Accompanied by members of the team's medical staff, he then went to the locker room where he was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain.
Dellavedova chose not to speak with the media after the game but was able to walk out of the locker room while wearing his own shoes -- rather than a walking boot -- after the game. He will undergo further examination ahead of the team's game Tuesday against the New York Knicks.
Just over three minutes after Dellavedova's injury, Antetokounmpo hit the deck in the middle of a defensive possession, writhing in pain. He had stepped on the foot of Brooklyn's DeMarre Carroll and twisted his right ankle.
When the ball changed hands, the Bucks immediately called timeout to check on their downed star, who had rolled onto his stomach and remained in obvious pain.
During the timeout, Jabari Parker helped Antetokounmpo get up and offered to support him to the bench, but Antetokounmpo shook him off and gingerly made his way to the sideline. The team's medical staff checked him out and re-taped his ankle, but he never returned to the game, ending his day with 16 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes.