Brook Lopez scored a playoff career-high 33 factors and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence to beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-112 on Thursday evening for a 3-2 lead within the Jap Convention finals.
The Bucks are one win away from reaching the NBA finals for the primary time since 1974. They received their lone NBA title in 1971.
4 of their starters had not less than 22 factors: Lopez, Khris Middleton (26), Jrue Vacation (25) and Bobby Portis (22). Middleton additionally had 13 rebounds and eight assists. Vacation had 13 assists and 6 rebounds.
Sport 6 is Saturday in Atlanta, with the winner of the collection going through the Phoenix Suns within the NBA finals.
Every group was lacking its largest star as Antetokounmpo handled a hyperextended left knee and Atlanta’s Trae Younger sat out a second straight sport because of a bone bruise in his proper foot.
Younger received damage when he by chance stepped on an official’s foot alongside the sideline in Milwaukee’s 113-102 Sport 3 victory. Antetokounmpo landed awkwardly after making an attempt to dam Clint Capela’s dunk try in Atlanta’s 110-88 Sport 4 triumph.
Simply because the Hawks’ function gamers stepped up with Younger sidelined in Sport 4, Antetokounmpo’s teammates got here by means of Thursday to assist the Bucks overcome the lack of their two-time MVP.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 28 factors. Atlanta additionally received 19 factors every from John Collins and Danilo Gallinari, and 17 from Lou Williams.
Portis took Antetokounmpo’s spot within the beginning lineup and had the Fiserv Discussion board followers chanting “Bobby! Bobby!” on a number of events, persevering with one thing that began throughout Milwaukee’s Sport 2 blowout victory. Portis’ 22 factors had been a playoff profession excessive.
The Bucks by no means trailed and led by as many as 20 within the first quarter, making most of their photographs and getting second-chance alternatives on their uncommon misses. The sport was almost eight minutes outdated by the point Cam Reddish received Atlanta’s first defensive rebound.
Milwaukee led 36-22 after a primary quarter by which the Bucks outscored the Hawks 28-8 within the paint. Bogdanovic’s 13 first-half factors helped the Hawks shut the hole to 65-56 on the break.
The Bucks wanted that edge within the paint as a result of they once more couldn’t join from vary, persevering with an issue that has hounded them the whole postseason. After making their first two three-point photographs, they missed their subsequent 12 makes an attempt from past the arc.
Atlanta minimize the result in 65-59 when Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer to open the third-quarter scoring, however that’s as shut because the Hawks would get within the second half.
This marked the second straight sport on this collection with none lead adjustments. The Hawks by no means trailed in Sport 4.