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NBA playoffs: Bucks All-Stars Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo ruled out for elimination Game 5 vs. Pacers

NBA playoffs: Bucks All-Stars Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo ruled out for elimination Game 5 vs. Pacers

A bad postseason continues to get worse for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard were both ruled out for Tuesday's Game 5 matchup against the Indiana Pacers due to their respective injuries. The two had been considered doubtful for the game as of Monday afternoon.

Antetokounmpo has been sidelined the entire postseason due to a calf strain he suffered late in the regular season. Lillard missed Sunday's Game 4 loss due to an Achilles tendon strain he aggravated in Game 3. Both face the risk of further injury with play.

The Bucks could be without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard for an elimination game. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The news wasn't too surprising, and the Bucks were largely preparing to go into an elimination game without their two best players. Indiana's Game 4 win gave it a 3-1 series lead, and the Pacers would clinch the series Tuesday with a win in Milwaukee.

The Bucks have remained competitive in games despite the continued absence of Antetokounmpo, a two-time league MVP and the 2021 Finals MVP. They won Game 1, then forced overtime in Game 3 before losing on a last-second game-winner from Tyrese Haliburton. Before his injury, Lillard stepped up his scoring average from 24.3 points per game in the regular season to 32.3 points per game in Games 1 through 3.

With Lillard, Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis (first-quarter ejection) sidelined in Game 4, the Pacers pulled away for a 126-113 win to put the Bucks on the brink of elimination. Even with a victory Tuesday, the Bucks would face the prospect of two more elimination games with continued doubt about the availability of Lillard or Antetokounmpo moving forward.

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