The Milwaukee Bucks returned to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. They didn’t even need the twice MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, to reach such a place.
Khris Middleton scored 32 points, including a 16-point streak in a decisive third quarter as the Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 118-97 this Saturday in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Milwaukee won the series 4-2 and will face the Suns in the NBA Finals series. Game 1 will be played Tuesday night in Phoenix.
“He’s sweet, ” said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer, who previously coached the Hawks. They deserve to go to the finals. I couldn’t be more proud of them. I love directing them. We have more work to do. ”
Trae Young returned to the Hawks’ lineup after being sidelined a couple of games due to a bone bruise on his right foot, but nothing worked out for him. After both teams struggled to get it right in the first half, the Bucks were very fine-tuned in the third quarter, especially Middleton.
Atlanta had a chance to go up on the scoreboard for the first time in the game when Kevin Huerter attempted a 3-pointer to pass through Young’s back. The pitch bounced off the rim and Middleton had the next 13 points that put Milwauke ahead 60-45. Young conjured up Middleton’s offense with a double, but Middleton responded with a triple for 16 consecutive points. Impressive.
Middleton finished the period with 23 points, just shy of all the Hawks’ points in that quarter. Atlanta had 29 points in that span and Milwaukee began the fourth quarter with a categorical 91-72 lead.
“My teammates and my coaches, they told me to keep up the intensity, ‘Middleton declared.” I love it. Each of the colleagues, work one day if the other as well. We are all ready. We are united. We play for each other. It’s all you can ask for. ” Additionally, Jrue Holiday finished with 27 points for the Bucks.
Cam Reddish, who was inactive for much of the season due to an Achilles tendon injury, came on as a substitute to cheer on Atlanta’s attack. He scored 21 points, hitting six of seven 3-pointers, as the Hawks cut a 22-point deficit to six in the final minutes. But it did not reach.
Giannis Antetokounmpo in doubt
The Milwaukee Bucks coach, Mike Budenholzer, stated that he still does not know if Giannis Antetokounmpo will be ready to play the first game against the Phoenix Suns.
Budenholzer praised the attitude of the Greek player recovering from the hyperextension of a knee that suffered in the fourth game of the series against the Hawks. “It is something that goes from day to day. We will release new information when appropriate. The conversations with him are private and we’ll see how he is every day, “said the coach.
Budenholzer explained about Antetokounmpo that seeing “that leadership, that connection, that commitment of a player that you know he’s dying to be playing. I love his energy in the bank, the coherence it brings to our group. “
The Bucks coach ended by noting that it was “bittersweet” that Antetokounmpo couldn’t play the last two games of the series against the Hawks. “But I think he understands that there is a way that we want to play basketball. He’s a big part of that but if he has to be on the bench for whatever reason, we have to be able to play, we need confident players. “