Khris Middleton, Giannis Bring Bucks Back, Tie Finals Series at 2-2
When they needed it most, the Milwaukee Bucks got exactly what they needed.
The Khris Middleton game – NBA Finals edition.
Refusing to die and go down 3-1, Middleton forced his team back into the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his team-high 40 points in the final frame. His final 10 points were crucial and came in the last two minutes of a game that could’ve seen the Bucks get pushed to the brink of elimination if it ended in a loss.
“Khris has no fear, and he never has,” said Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday, who was tasked with keeping Suns superstar Chris Paul at bay all night. “Being one of the guys who has guarded him in my career, knowing what he’s done, hitting big shots, making big plays, he’s never been afraid of the moment. So, putting him in this situation is kind of perfect.”
It was virtually a must-win game as the Bucks were set to head back to Phoenix and on Wednesday night, they kept feeding Middleton the ball down the stretch to carry them to the 109-103 victory.
“That’s what he does down the stretch,” Antetokounmpo said. “We want him to have the ball. We want him to be the decision-maker. We know he’s going to take big shots, and tonight, he was incredible.”
Antetokounmpo had yet another huge night in his own right, finishing with 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight boards, while being an absolute menace on the defensive end. The Greek Freak punctuated an incredible final quarter with a vital block on DeAndre Ayton in crunch time to completely swing the momentum of the game.
“I thought I was going to get dunked on, to be honest with you,” Antetokounmpo said. “I felt [Ayton] rolling to the rim behind me, so I knew the only chance to get a stop was to just jump toward the rim and try to cover that angle for him to score.”
For the Suns, Devin Booker led the way with 42 point, somehow evading the elusive sixth foul all throughout the final quarter. But with Paul struggling, Phoenix just didn’t have enough to pull out the road win and will look to get back on track in Game 5 when they return to the Desert.