Bucks hold on without Giannis Antetokounmpo, extend series after Game 4 overtime win against Heat
They may have been without Giannis Antetokounmpo for most of the game, but the Milwaukee Bucks still found a way to keep their season alive on Sunday afternoon.
The Bucks rallied late and held on in overtime to claim the 118-115 win over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series at Walt Disney World. They now trail 3-1 in the series.
“Just keep fighting, that’s all my teammates did,” Khris Middleton, who dropped a career-high 36 points in the win, said on ESPN. “We all fought, especially with Giannis going down the way he did. He came out and tried to fight for us with a bad ankle.
“We just wanted to have his back and just fight for him and fight for everybody.”
Middleton, Bucks hang on in OT
Milwaukee, after falling into an early 12-point hole, climbed back out and closed the final period on a huge 15-7 run — which they did after holding Miami scoreless for more than five minutes. They then opened up the extra period on a 6-2 run.
With less than 30 seconds left in the extra period, however, Heat guard Tyler Herro drilled a clutch 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring them back within one.
Middleton, however, hit right back.
Middleton, after draining the clock down to just more than six seconds, made his own 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Though Herro hit another from behind the arc, it was too late. Middleton then hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the three-point win, the Bucks’ first of the series.
“Look, you have to credit Milwaukee in this game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, via the Miami Herald. “I thought in the fourth quarter when we went up six, we had a chance to steal this game. But the reality is they deserved to win the game. They were playing harder.”
Middleton finished with 36 points — nine in overtime — eight rebounds and eight assists in the win. Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe added 14 points each.
Bam Adebayo led Miami with a near-triple-double, dropping 26 points with 12 rebounds and eight assists. Duncan Robinson added 20 points while shooting 6-of-12 from behind the arc, and Jimmy Butler finished with 17 points.
Giannis leaves early with ankle injury
Antetokounmpo left the game early in the second quarter after rolling his ankle while driving to the hoop.
He went crashing to the ground, screaming in pain and grabbing his ankle. He picked up a foul on the play and shot free throws, but then left the court and went to the locker room.
The Bucks ruled him out for the rest of the game with a right ankle sprain, the same ankle he hurt in the first quarter of Game 3 on Friday. Antetokounmpo finished that game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo re-injured his ankle and after shooting two free throws, left the court. pic.twitter.com/CUNpWnrVKH
— ESPN (@espn) September 6, 2020
Antetokounmpo finished Game 4 with 19 points and four rebounds, shooting 8-of-10 from the field.
Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said he never considered putting Antetokounmpo back in the game after he went down. His status for Game 5 on Tuesday is still unclear, and he was seen leaving the arena in a walking boot.
“He’ll get treatment through the night,” Budenholzer said, via ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “We’ll just see how he does over the next 24-48 hours.”
Antetokounmpo was, however, on his feet to congratulate the Bucks in the locker room after their win.
First person to greet the @Bucks after the W? @Giannis_An34. pic.twitter.com/mUB6ykg25q
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) September 6, 2020
“He’s a true teammate, man,” Bledsoe said, via Matt Velazquez the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Even though he couldn’t stand, he stood up for us. When we got back after the game, he stood up for us. That’s signs of a great leader. Signs of great leader, man. He’s going to be back.”
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