Bucks Stay Alive…But For How Long?

Game 4–Miami entered Game 4 one win away from sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks right out of the playoffs. After destroying the Bucks in the 4th Quarter in Game 3, and Giannis Antetokounmpo entering the game with an injured ankle, it seemed as if Game 4 was just a simple exercise for the Heat.

Miami opened on the game on a 10-2 run and looked poised to knock out the Bucks early. Unfortunately for the Heat, nobody mentioned this to reigning MVP. Antetokounmpo scored 14 of the Bucks’ 22 first quarter points. He came ready to play but just someone to score with him. Heat led after the first 12 minutes, 31-20.

Milwaukee opened the 2nd Quarter by scoring 8 straight points to move to within 1 with 10:18 to go in the quarter. However, on a drive to the basket, Giannis tweaked his ankle again and left the game for good. all hope seemed to lost for the Bucks. Just one problem…nobody told the Bucks the game was over. At the end of the quarter, the Bucks led 50-48.

In order for the Bucks to hang with the Heat and stave off elimination, someone needed to fill Antetokounmpo’s shoes on offense. Step in Khris Middleton. His 22 points in the quarter kept Milwaukee in the game. The third quarter ended with the Heat up 88-86.

With potentially just 12 minutes left in their season, the Bucks needed to make their move. With 8:42 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Heat led 100-92. Over the next 5:30 minutes, the Bucks would make a 12-0 run to lead 104-100. With back-to-back buckets by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat tied the game at 104 with 2:25 to play. With 1:00 to play, the Bucks were ahead, 106-104; however, Tyler Herro came down the floor and drilled a three point shot to give the Heat a one point lead.

After two chip shots missed by Middleton and Brooks Lopez, gave the ball back to Miami with 39 seconds remaining. Butler drove to the basket and shot an 8 foot fade away jump shot that came up short. The Bucks rebounded and called timeout. Unable to move the basketball, the Bucks needed to call a second timeout with 8.9 remaining. On the inbounds, the ball made its way to Donte DiVincenzo in the corner, he drove to the basket, only to be fouled by Goran Dragic. DiVincenzo made just one free throw, forcing overtime.

In overtime, Jimmy Butler scored to give the Heat the lead, 109-107. This came with 4:33 remaining. The Heat would not score again until a Tyler Herro three point shot with :30 remaining. This put the Heat down by one until Middleton hit another 3 to push the lead back to four. In between, Butler’s dunk and Herro’s three, the Heat had 7 possessions without any points. Door open for the Bucks.

The Bucks were able to push off elimination for at least one more game with their 118-115 OT victory. If Giannis cannot go on Tuesday, will Milwaukee have enough offensively? Can Khris Middleton put together another great offensive showing like he did on Sunday? If so, another victory for the Bucks in Game 5, just might get the Heat’s attention. 1

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