Without their star player, the Milwaukee Bucks were able to get the job done. They’d knock off the Atlanta Hawks, 123-112 to earn a 3-2 series lead.
Well, I don’t think many people were expecting the start that the Bucks had in the first quarter of this one. Without their fearless leader Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee embarked on a massive run to begin the festivities. Ignited by Bobby Portis (who replaced Antetokounmpo in the starting lineup), the Bucks sprinted out to a 36-22 advantage after one period of play.
It’d be a less successful quarter of play for the Bucks in the second interval, with the Hawks hitting 3-pointers — and the Bucks not. At one point, Milwaukee would go on a scoreless drought of 12 missed threes (their first two were hit in the opening 2:05 minutes of the game). That’d help blow the Hawks right back into the thick of things at halftime, 65-56.
Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez continued to shine for Milwaukee in the third quarter. Their aggression and level of play helped the Bucks build on their nine point halftime advantage. Transitioning into the fourth quarter, Milwaukee was sitting on a 91-78 lead.
The Bucks would continue to ride the gas in this one, not allowing Atlanta to come within grabbing reach of the lead. Bucks in 6 chants would fill Fiserv Forum in the waning moments of this one, as Milwaukee now travels to Atlanta just one win shy of the NBA Finals.
Stat That Stood Out
This is a tough call between Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, but I gotta go with Playoff P (Sorry, Paul George). After being inserted into the starting lineup following Giannis Antetokounmpo’s hyperextension of his knee, Bobby stepped up in a major way — 22 points and eight rebounds. Those 22 points? A playoff career-high. It’s also official — Portis continues etching his way into Milwaukee folklore status. There were at least five “BOB-BY” chants from the Fiserv Forum crowd. Just an incredible atmosphere.