Amid boos, former Jacksonville star Grayson Allen breaks out in Milwaukee Bucks playoff wins

Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen (7) drives to the basket past Chicago Bulls guard Coby White during the second half of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, April 22, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville high school basketball star Grayson Allen had a breakout weekend for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Allen, who played at Providence School of Jacksonville and then for Duke University, scored a career playoff-high 27 points off the bench on Sunday to help give the Bucks a win and a 3-1 series lead over the Chicago Bulls.

And he did it while being booed by Bulls fans every time he touched the ball.

Allen, 26, became a villain in the eyes of Bulls fans in January when he threw Bulls guard Alex Caruso to the ground during a fast break. It was a play that broke Caruso’s wrist and earned Allen a one-game suspension. Bulls coach and former head basketball coach of the Florida Gators Billy Donovan criticized Allen after the game and referenced Allen’s history of dangerous plays.

Despite the boos during the first-round playoff series, Allen has come alive for the defending champion Bucks. He scored 22 points in a Game 4 win on Friday and 13 points in a Game 1 win last week, both above his 11-point regular-season average.

Now, since he’s playing so well, Allen’s teammates have even started booing him.

“Obviously, I think it started off just the fans booing him, but he be hooping when we boo him. So maybe it means something to him, just some form of support, so I’m still going to be booing the hell out of him,” Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday told The Athletic.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen, right, drives as Chicago Bulls forward Javonte Green guards during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“I think it’s funny. I think it’s honestly hilarious that they’ve kind of turned it into a fun thing,” Allen said.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo suggested Allen frame a photo from Game 3 where the Bucks bench is in the background booing him.

“He’s played amazing, maybe we got to boo him even more,” Antetokounmpo told ESPN with a smile after the game.

Allen was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft in 2018 by the Utah Jazz. After playing in Utah for one season, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies where he spent the next two seasons and averaged 9.7 points per game.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard seems to have found a home in Milwaukee where he is averaging career highs in points, 3-point percentage and rebounds.

Allen, Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Bucks will look to close out the series against the Bulls on Wednesday in Wisconsin.

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Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.