show up Milwaukee Bucks It is a team based on team play and not on individual solutions, when it succeeded in presenting a balanced attack that led it to victory over Atlanta Hawks 123-112 in the fifth game of the Eastern Region Final Series in NBA Basketball League, to advance 3-2.
Brooke Lopez scored 33 points, and Gro Holiday 25 points and 13 assists, while Chris Middleton finished the match with 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who took the lead and are within one win away from home to reach the NBA final for the first time since 1974.
Milwaukee’s victory was achieved without Greek top scorer Yannis Antetokounmpo, who was knocked out in the fourth game due to a knee injury, but he watched the match and supported his colleagues from the bench.
The best player in the league twice, in 2019 and 2020, was injured after a strong collision with Swiss center Clint Kabila, where he fell to the ground and held his knee for a while, before leaving the field and returning to the dressing room limping with the help of his brother Thanassis.
In the absence of the 26-year-old Nigerian star, four starters scored more than 20 points.
“We went out tonight and did our best to control both ends of the court,” Lopez said. We did a great job playing together. When everyone scores and everyone does their job, it’s difficult for the opposing team’s defense.”
The next game, sixth in the series, will be played on Saturday in Atlanta. The winner of this series will face the Phoenix Suns, who eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday to reach the final for the first time in 28 years.
In contrast to Antetokounmpo’s absence from the Bucks, the Hawks missed his star Trae Young for the second match in a row, due to a foot injury he suffered in the third match when he stepped on the referee’s foot.
life or death match
Serbian Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28 points for the Hawks, while his colleagues John Collins and Danilo Galinari scored 19 points, with Lou Williams 17 points.
But the Hawks are in a difficult situation where they need to win Game Six to force Milwaukee into a play-off seven, or else they will be eliminated.
“They were more physically fit,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. They shocked us and we couldn’t recover quickly.”
Macmillan had spoken to the team in the dressing room after game five, telling them that the next game was life or death.
“This is a one-game season now,” he said. There is still a lot of basketball to play. We have to go back to our court and do the necessary work. It is that simple.”
As for the winning team, Bucks coach Mike Badenholzer praised the way Lopez played in Game Five.
“It was a great opportunity for him to get the ball more and use it a little bit more,” he said. He’s been through a difficult time. He put in an impressive overall effort.”
The Bucks made a strong start, and advanced by up to twenty points in the first quarter, before the Hawks returned again to reduce the difference to less than ten points at the end of the first half.
Milwaukee advanced 12-5 in the first three minutes, then Lopez scored an overwhelming basket after a pass from Holiday to boost the score 30-10 about three minutes before the end of the first quarter.
Atlanta returned and took control in the second quarter and advanced over Milwaukee 34-29, reducing the difference to 65-56 in the first half.
The Bucks scored nine points in a row at the end of the third quarter and at the beginning of the fourth, to advance 96-78, while the Hawks were unable to reduce the difference to less than ten points.