No Giannis, no problem: Bucks top Heat in overtime, force fifth game
Lake Buena Vista, Florida: The Milwaukee Bucks lost the first three games of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, then lost the NBA’s MVP while trying to fend off elimination.
The Bucks aren’t done yet.
NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 points in just 11 minutes before he was forced from the court.Credit:Getty
Bam Adebayo had 26 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Miami. Duncan Robinson scored 20 points, Jae Crowder had 18 and Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler each finished with 17 for the Heat.
Antetokounmpo scored 19 points for the Bucks in only 11 minutes, while Brook Lopez and George Hill each had 14 for Milwaukee.
Miami managed only two points in the first 4:30 of overtime, got within one on a three-pointer from Tyler Herro, but Middleton delivered the biggest shot of the night to make it 116-112.
Herro made another three with 3.0 seconds left, but Middleton sealed it with a pair of free throws.
Khris Middleton had 21 of his 36 points in the third quarter before launching a crucial three in overtime.Credit:Getty
Antetokounmpo had 19 of Milwaukee’s first 30 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the floor. But in an instant, everything changed for the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo aggravated his sprained right ankle with 10:18 left in the second quarter, rolling it inward – just as he did in game three on Friday – as he tried to drive past Miami’s Andre Iguodala. He tumbled to the court, grabbing the ankle and screaming in pain.
He took the free throws; without doing that, he would not have been permitted to return. But at half-time, the Bucks delivered the word that he would not be back.
So, his game was over.
The Bucks’ season wasn’t.
Middleton did all he could to keep the Bucks afloat, scoring 21 points in the third quarter — the highest-scoring quarter of his career — on 6 for 9 shooting from the field and 7 for 7 from the foul line. His previous quarter-best was 20, on Nov. 1, 2017 against Charlotte.
And in the end, the Bucks had enough to keep hope alive.
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