The Milwaukee Bucks are one game away from the NBA Finals after a end-to-end win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of Wisconsin. Brook Lopez and the Bucks starting at 5 collectively stepped up in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo winning 123-112 at the Fiserv Forum.
A game without superstar 5
Atlanta and Milwaukee knew they would be without their stars for Thursday’s game in Wisconsin. Despite an MRI showing no structural damage, Giannis was scratched for the game in Milwaukee. Trae Young has been listed as questionable and even warmed up before the game to test the ankle but the Atlanta franchise player was still in great pain in the hours leading up to the tip, and he was sidelined for a second straight game.
The Bucks starters caused Milwaukee to explode out of the gate. Jrue Holiday collected seven points in the opening two minutes of the game, to set the tone. The home side looked good after a good look thanks to a brilliant first quarter from Brook Lopez. Lopez had 12 of the Bucks’ 28 points in the paint in the first 12 minutes.
Bucks jumped early, as the Hawks scrambled the pitch
While the Bucks were nearly perfect on the pitch, the Hawks missed 12 of 13 shots, which allowed Milwaukee to trigger a 20-5 run that extended the lead to a record 20 points.
Milwaukee took the lead early in the first set and never looked back. Atlanta continued to hide, closing the gap to as little as six in the third quarter, but the Bucks kept the Hawks at horned distance overnight.
Lopez leads from 5 in game 5
Of the 123 points Milwaukee scored in Game 5, the starters scored 111. They were led by Brook Lopez, who recorded a career-high 33 points on 14 of 18 shots. Middleton was brilliant for the Bucks as he fLirté with a triple double, posting 26 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. Jrue Holiday lost 25 and distributed 13 assists, and Bobby Portis brought energy in his first playoff start with 22 points.
The Hawks never looked so fluid on Thursday like they did against Milwaukee in Game 4 when they were without Trae Young. The slow first quarter put them in a hole they couldn’t get out of despite 20 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic.
The Bucks can clinch Saturday night.
The Bucks are just one victory away from landing their ticket to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. They will get their first chance at the series close on Saturday as the series heads south. Atlanta Game 6 kicks off on July 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET.