Giannis Antetokounmpo had a recurring injury early in the second half, but his teammates tried hard to fill the gap.
Milwaukee Bucks was 0-3 in the Western Semifinals series and Giannis star Antetokounmpo only played 11 minutes in game 4 due to injury, but that was not enough to stop the Deer Herd’s efforts. They beat the Miami Heat with the score 118-115 after extra time to keep their hopes of going on.
The defending MVP got off to an impressive start, scoring 19 of the team’s first 30 points with an 8-10 performance, but the clash with Andre Iguodala made him cut the game short. However, it seems that the absence of the Greek Goddess made the Bucks play better. When Giannis was on the pitch, the team’s hit rate was only 29%, but when he was in the dressing room, that number soared to 53%.
From being led to 9 points after the first half, the number one seed in the East rose and turned the game into a fascinating chase. After the injury of Antetokounmpo, the stage was handed over to Khris Middleton. The 29-year-old star scored 21 points in the third half, in which he scored the most points in his career.
In the last half, the Miami Heat sometimes led to 8 points, but the Milwaukee Bucks responded with 12 consecutive points in five minutes, forcing Erik Spoelstra to call twice. Seed 5 can only equalize thanks to Jimmy Butler’s shining minute with a scoring phase and a tectonic line. Tyler Herro took a precise long throw to give Miami a 1 point lead with 58 seconds remaining, but Donte DiVincenzo entered the match into extra time with a successful free-throw.
Middleton did not score after six shots in the fourth half, but regained his star instincts in extra time. His two hard shots in a row in his bottleneck gave the home side a 111-109 lead, before Brook Lopez made good use of both free throws afterwards. Herro once again revived hope for Heat with a three-point throw with 30 seconds remaining.
The two-time All-star shot three points in front of Herro and another of his teammates, re-establishing the 4-point gap with six seconds left. Heat’s rookie responded with a similar shot in the ball immediately after, but too little time remaining. The Bucks’ No.22 ended with a superb 2 free throws.
Khris Middleton scored 36 points, eight assists and eight rebounds in 48 minutes, more than any other Bucks player this season. The United States international helped the Bucks avoid their prospect of becoming the first seed-seeded team to lose 0-4 at the Playoffs since the 2001 San Antonio Spurs, where manager Mike Budenholzer worked as an assistant to Gregg Popovich.