Giannis Antetokounmpo triple-double powers Milwaukee Bucks as they complete series sweep of Miami Heat
The Milwaukee Bucks produced a devastating third-quarter performance to turn Game 4 in their favour and end the Miami Heat’s season on their own floor.
Giannis Antetkounmpo didn’t manage a field goal until late in the second quarter and finished the first half with just five points.
But he finished the game with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists and became just the third Bucks player to bag a postseason triple-double after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Paul Pressey as the Bucks saw off the Heat 120-103 in Miami on Saturday.
Box score: Milwaukee Bucks starters
It finished off a four-game first-round sweep over last season’s Eastern Conference champions and ends what has been a difficult season for Miami with a whimper. It’s also the first time an Erik Spoelstra-coached team has been swept in the playoffs.
But in the early stages, it looked like the Heat did have it in them to at least force a Game 5 as they managed to stop the Bucks top two scorers from settling into their rhythm in the opening couple of quarters.
🇬🇷💪🏽👀 He might not have made a field goal yet, but @Giannis_An34 has 6 dimes, including this no-look beauty.
The zone coverage Miami was playing defensively around him, appeared to be making Antetokounmpo think in the first two quarters as he missed his first six shots and he was also noticeably less impactful on the boards, although he was dishing out all sorts of assists to compensate.
Because that’s the thing about the Greek Freak, he can do a bit of everything – and in third and fourth quarters he cranked the intensity up a couple of gears and the Heat just couldn’t live with it.
His chief running mate Khris Middleton’s game followed a similar trajectory as he struggled for scoring in the first half before exploding in the third
Bryn Forbes helped keep them in touch in opening couple of frames, as he took on the bulk of the scoring load to keep the Bucks in touch. He finished with 7 made-threes and that contribution proved crucial as the Bucks stretched away with a big third quarter, outscoring 34-21 to turn the game.
Brook Lopez top-scored for the visitors with 25 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double – 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists – and the Bucks became the first team to advance in this year’s playoffs, beating the Heat 120-103 on Saturday and finishing off a four-game first-round sweep over last season’s Eastern Conference champions.
Forbes scored 22 points, Middleton had 20, Bobby Portis 13 and Jrue Holiday 11 for Milwaukee, which outscored Miami by 24 in the second half overall.
For the Heat, Bam Adebayo scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Miami, which got 18 points from Kendrick Nunn, 14 from Tyler Herro, 13 from Goran Dragic and a triple-double, although a much quieter one – 12 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists – from Jimmy Butler.
Box score: Miami Heat starters
This defeat means the Heat became the second team in the current playoff format to go from sweeping in the first round one year to being swept in the first round the next. The only other team to endure that: the then-New Jersey Nets, who swept New York in 2004 and lost 4-0 to, ironically, Miami in 2005.
Once Milwaukee grabbed the first three games, history said the result was inevitable. NBA teams with 3-0 series leads are now 141-0 all-time in those matchups, with these Bucks becoming the 88th of those teams to finish off matters with a sweep.
Their reward: a week off, at least.
The third-seeded Bucks won’t play again until at least next Saturday. Their East semi-finals series against either second-seeded Brooklyn or seventh-seeded Boston will start on June 5 if the Nets advance in five games. In any other scenario, the Bucks will next play on June 7.
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