Middleton and Antetokounmpo against all who come: Bucks 2-1

Khris Middleton tied his career-high in the playoffs with 38 points, 20 of them in the fourth quarter., to guide the Milwaukee bucks to a victory on Sunday 113-102 over the Hawks in Atlanta and take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference final of the NBA.

Khris Middleton's great game with points in decisive moments.

Khris Middleton’s great game with points in decisive moments.

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Trae Young hit 35 points for Atlanta, but was diminished in the fourth quarter after injuring his ankle when he stepped on a referee’s foot late in the third quarter. So Middleton scored 10 points during a 13-3 streak that put Milwaukee in front.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, next to him, finished with 33 points for the Bucks, who were down on the scoreboard for much of the game before exploding in the fourth period. Atlanta led 95-89 before Middleton hit the first of his three 3-pointers during the 13-3 attack for a 103-98 lead.

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Bucks, lowest to highest

After never leading the way in defeating 125-91 in the second game, the Hawks were eager to get off to a better start to their first home game of the series. Turnovers by Middleton and Antetokounmpo ended in dunks by Clint Capela, and Kevin Huerter hit a 3-pointer for a 7-0 start.

Giannis Antetokounmpo also unstoppable.

Giannis Antetokounmpo also unstoppable.

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The Hawks increased the margin to 13 points. Antetokounmpo was limited to five units in the first quarter, but found his offense again in the second quarter. He finished with 11 points in that quarter and the Bucks finally tied the game 56-56 with a triple by Pat Connaughton 12 seconds from the end of the first half.

The Bucks took their first lead 82-80 on a shot by Bobby Portis Jr. 1:47 left in the third quarter. Danilo Gallinari’s 3-pointer put the Hawks back in front 85-83 after three periods. Middleton opened the final quarter with a triple that was a premonition of his great performance. He alone beat the Hawks, who finished with 17 points.

Trae Young's annoyance was decisive.

Trae Young’s annoyance was decisive.