Nothing in the initial half suggested that Khris Middleton of Milwaukee was about to go on a scoring spree.
In a four-minute time span, Khris Middleton scored 16 of his 23 points in the third quarter of the game, as the Bucks stretched a two-point lead to a 19-point advantage against the Hawks.
Even though Trae Young had missed two games previously due to a bone bruise that appeared in his right foot, for the Hawks it was too hard to overcome.
Atlanta was beaten by Milwaukee 118-107 in the Eastern Conference playoffs’ sixth game, advancing to the NBA Finals to face the Phoenix Suns.
Khris Middleton said that All he wants to do is to win and that is all there is to it. He said that he is not concerned about the number of points he has. Statistics are thrown out the window. Despite a strong third quarter, he communicated to Jrue (Holiday) that he was suffering (earlier in the game). He said that he has to seize the initiative and make things happen because he just lacked it at the moment.
According to him, that is what his squad is about; and they don’t care who gets the ball, who scores, or who does this or that. They just want to win, and that is all that matters.
The last time the Bucks went into the finals of the NBA was in 1974 when Larry Costello was a coach and Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were teammates.
Bucks coach said that he is just really pleased with the group’s perseverance and character. He added that they just have a concentration and an edge that has placed them in a terrific position, in a position to continue playing. Thus, they must cope with all those emotions, with all that goes into each round, which this group has accomplished. It’s remarkable, but there’s more work to be done.
Antetokounmpo sat out his second straight game due to a hyperextended left knee suffered in the 4th game. Milwaukee won the following two games despite his absence, relying on Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and a surprise performance by former Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague.
Middleton ended with 32 points, Holiday scored 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 27 points, and Portis added nine rebounds and 12 points to his postseason 22 points which is his career’s highest. Brook Lopez contributed 13 points, Teague 11 points, and Pat Connaughton 13 points.