With Giannis Antetokounmpo a late rule-out the Milwaukee Bucks started Game 5 behind the 8-ball in their quest to extend their season against the Miami Heat; ultimately, they couldn’t manufacture enough offense to live another day as their season ended on a 103-94 loss. The Bucks found themselves at a surprisingly solid position after one, leading 28-19 after capitalizing on several Miami turnovers in the first. Milwaukee’s offense sputtered in the second quarter, coughing up the lead but still trailing merely 52-46 at halftime. It was a brutal 3rd, with a six minute stretch of 0 points but somehow the Bucks stayed within 73-65 at the end of three. Milwaukee could never get over the hump as the clock ticked down, and the threes kept missing as Butler nailed his free throws. Just like that, what was once a dream season came to a crashing halt.
Khris Middleton couldn’t recapture the magic of his Game 4 shooting display, with the Heat keying in on him and limiting him to just 23 points, seven boards and six assists on 8-25 shooting before fouling out. Donte DiVincenzo was the surprise standout as he got the starting nod, ending with 17 points but struggling with foul trouble throughout. Brook Lopez ended with 15 points and 14 boards. Eric Bledsoe was putrid offensively, a depressingly familiar sight for Bucks fans, shooting just 2-12 for nine points.
The Heat, for their part, looked disjointed offensively as they turned it over xx times. Jimmy Butler was held to only 17 points, but they found balanced scoring across their roster that Milwaukee couldn’t muster. Goran Dragic added 17, Jae Crowder had 16 and off the bench, Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk combined for 26 points.
Stat that Stood Out
The ~6:30 stretch of scoreless play for the Milwaukee Bucks in the third period. As their defense swarmed and they did their best to cut Miami’s lead to one, the Bucks could not get over the hump as their offense fell to glacial levels of efficiency. 57-56 is a score that Bucks fans won’t soon forget as they head into an offseason peppered with difficult questions.