MILVAUKE – Brooke Lopez scored a career-high 33 points in the playoffs and the Milwaukee Bucks endured the absence of Jannis Antetokounpo, defeating the Atlanta Hawks 123-112 on Thursday night and winning 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. .
The Bucks lost their chance to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. They won their only NBA title in 1971.
They had at least 22 points in four starts: Lopes, Chris Middleton (26), Jrue Hellidi (25) and Bobby Portis (22). Middleton also has 13 rebounds and 8 assists. There are 13 assists and six goals on vacation.
Game 6 will take place on Saturday in Atlanta and the series winner will face the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.
Each team missed their biggest star as Antetokounmpo over-extended his left knee and sat in the second straight game due to a bone injury in Trae Young’s right leg in Atlanta.
The young Milwaukee was injured when he accidentally put his official foot on his side in Game 3 of 113-102. Antetokounmpo was embarrassed when he tried to block Clint Kapela’s reluctant attempt in Game 4 of the 110-88 game in Atlanta.
Just as Hawks ’role-players didn’t play in Game 4 with Young, the Antetokounmpo team arrived by Thursday to help the Bulls lose their double MVP.
Bogdan Bogdanovich led the Hawks with 28 points. Atlanta also scored 19 points from John Collins and Danilo Gallinari and 17 points from Lou Williams.
Portis replaced Antetokounpo in the starting lineup and told Fiserv Forum fans “Bobby! Bobby! He wrote. Continuing what started during Milwaukee’s 2nd win of the Game. Portis’ 22 points was the highest in the playoffs.
Buck never chased anyone in the first quarter and was in the lead with 20 men, who made the most of their shots and took second chances in rare situations. The game was close to eight minutes before Cam Reddish scored Atlanta’s first defensive ball.
Milwaukee led 36-22 after the first quarter, where the Bucks outscored the Hawks 28-8 in the paint. Bogdanovich’s 13 points in the first half helped the Hawks close the gap to 65-56 at halftime.
The Bucks needed that edge in the paint because they couldn’t connect to the interval again and continued to have problems that interested them throughout the season. After making the first two 3 shots, they missed the next 12 attempts outside the bow.
Bogdanovich hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring in the third quarter, reducing Atlanta to 65-59, but that came close to the Hawks in the second half.
This marked the second straight game in this series with no lead change. The Hawks never walked in Game 4.