Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo argues with a Indiana Pacers coach after an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
CNN  — 

Giannis Antetokounmpo was involved in a heated post-match altercation with the Indiana Pacers after dropping a career-high and Bucks franchise-record 64 points in Milwaukee’s 140-126 victory on Wednesday.

The ‘Greek Freak’ was unhappy that the Pacers took the game ball from his historic night, leading Antetokounmpo to charge from the court towards the visitors’ locker room in search of it.

Antetokounmpo was then involved in a fiery exchange with Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton when he came back out onto the court.

After the game, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters there had been a “misunderstanding” and that they had taken the game ball to give to rookie Oscar Tshiebwe, who scored his first official NBA point in the contest.

“We always get the game ball. We were not thinking about Giannis’ franchise record,” Carlisle said post-game. “So we grabbed the ball and, a couple of minutes later, several of their players ended up in our hallway and there was a big fracas or melee, whatever you want to call it.

“I don’t think any punches were landed, but my general manager got elbowed in the ribs by one of their players, so he certainly has a bruised rib and who knows if it’s anything more than that.

Dec 13, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) is restrained by a coach outside the Indiana Pacers locker room after the game at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

“Unfortunate situation. We don’t need the official game ball, there’s two game balls there, we could have taken the other one, but it didn’t need to escalate to that.”

When asked whether he managed to get the game ball, Antetokounmpo said he had “no idea.”

“I really don’t know, I have a ball, but I don’t know if it’s the game ball,” he told reporters. “It doesn’t feel like the game ball to me, it feels like a brand new ball. I can tell. I played 35 minutes today, I know how the game ball felt.

“The ball that I have – which I’ll take and give to my mom for sure – I don’t know if it’s actually the game ball, but it’s OK, life continues.

“It’s just unfortunate, I’ve never seen this before.”

The Bucks’ victory was their second in the space of three days over the Pacers, capping off a triple-header between the teams that started with Indiana beating Milwaukee in the In-Season Tournament semifinals last Thursday.

Antetokounmpo stuffed the stat sheet on his career night, adding 14 rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block to his 64 points.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 13: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers during the second half of a game at Fiserv Forum on December 13, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Damian Lillard chipped in with 21 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Khris Middleton added 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

The Bucks are now 17-7 and second in the Eastern Conference, while the Pacers are fifth after falling to 13-9.