Milwaukee Bucks Sweep Miami Heat, Advance To Second Round
The Milwaukee Bucks have avenged last year’s playoff loss to the Miami Heat by sweeping them in the first round. On Saturday, the Bucks defeated the Heat 120-103 to clinch the series win and become the first team to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
“It’s a great moment for us, winning 4-0, and beating the team that beat us last year,” Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “But at the end of the day, we have a long way to go.”
The Bucks entered Saturday’s game with the motivation to sweep the Heat. Miami had to do everything it could to survive. At first, the Heat did just that and led at the end of the first half, 64-57. The momentum of the game changed in the third quarter. At the start of the second half, Milwaukee pulled off a 24-4 run to erase a nine-point deficit and build a double-digit lead.
All-Star Khris Middleton scored 12 of his 20 points in the third quarter alone. Middleton’s scoring helped fuel the Bucks’ run. Bryn Forbes added a spark in the third as the Bucks rebounded to take the lead and outscored Miami 34-21 in the third quarter. Antetokounmpo helped out on both sides of the floor with an all-around performance.
Antetokounmpo played selflessly, dishing out a career playoff-best 15 assists. “Being able to affect the game in multiple ways, and not just getting into the paint and dunking,” Antetokounmpo said. “Don’t get me wrong. If I could dunk every single play, I’d try to dunk every single play. But just being mature, having my head up and looking for guys when they’re open was big for us.” Antetokounmpo finished the game with 20 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds.
The selfless play from Milwaukee allowed four people to score more than 20 points. Brook Lopez had a team-high 25 points, Forbes added 22, Antetokounmpo and Middleton both had 20 points. The team also played at a high level on the defensive end throughout the entire series. Antetokounmpo was asked to guard Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler. The Bucks forward was able to contain Butler, as the Heat star struggled offensively the entire series. Butler only converted 19 of 64 field goal attempts in the four games. He he only sank 29% of his shots from the field.
“Giannis has unique defensive talent, and Butler is such a great talent, scorer, passer,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It takes a lot of discipline to guard a guy like Jimmy Butler. For Giannis to have that discipline with the competitiveness makes him special.”
Milwaukee now advances to the second round and they will have almost a week of rest, as they wait for either the Boston Celtics or the Brooklyn Nets. For Miami, it was a disappointing premature end to their postseason. Miami had hoped that they would make another run to the NBA Finals. Instead, they are going home after only four games. “We can be better,” Butler said of the loss. “We’ll get better.” Miami will now focus on their offseason.
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.