The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Atlanta Hawks 123-112 at home to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference final.
Despite the absence of star player Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a knee injury, four of the Bucks’ five starters netted at least 22 points in game 5.
Brook Lopez scored a season-high 33 points to help Milwaukee advance to the NBA Finals, while Khris Middleton contributed 26 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists for the Bucks, while Jrue Holiday added 25 points and 13 assists.
“I just thought we did a great job of playing together,” Lopez said. “Khris and Jrue did their usual job of making plays for everyone. When everyone is scoring and everyone is doing their thing, it’s difficult for the defense. It is difficult for them to make a decision and make a commitment.”
The Atlanta Hawks (missing key player Trae Young due to a foot injury) fell behind 30-10 early and, despite cutting the deficit to 65-59, saw the Bucks pull away for victory.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 28 points, while John Collins and Danilo Gallinari each added 19 points.
“They were more aggressive. They punched us in the mouth, and we were unable to recover” – Nate McMillan, head coach of the Hawks
With one more victory, the Bucks will be guaranteed a spot in the NBA Finals, where they will face the Phoenix Suns.