Field Level Media
Aug 24, 2020
Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo totaled 31 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, and fellow All-Star Khris Middleton caught fire late to push the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks to a 121-106 victory over the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.
Milwaukee can close out the series with a win in Wednesday's Game 5.
It was the most competitive the Magic have been since their Game 1 upset. Orlando hung around until the fourth quarter, when Milwaukee opened on a 20-5 blitz to open up a 102-83 advantage. Middleton scored 13 of his 21 points during the stretch, including three 3-pointers.
The Magic made one last surge when Nikola Vucevic hit back-to-back 3-pointers and sank two free throws to cut the Bucks' lead to 109-102 with 4:02 to play. But Kyle Korver answered with a 3-pointer to push Milwaukee's advantage back to double digits. Antetokounmpo followed with a finish through contact to seal the win.
Vucevic finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Markelle Fultz added 15 points (including three go-ahead buckets in the third quarter), seven assists and five rebounds. Orlando also made 18 3-pointers, a necessary counter to a stingy Bucks defense that focuses on protecting the rim.
A 3-pointer by Milwaukee's Marvin Williams broke a 41-41 tie with 4:20 left in the second quarter, and the Bucks' advantage held until the break. The teams traded leads throughout the third quarter, with an Antetokounmpo 3-pointer at the top putting the Bucks up 84-81 with 6.6 seconds remaining in the period to spark their decisive run.
Both teams sputtered offensively during the first quarter the Bucks won 22-18. Milwaukee shot 8-of-24 from the floor, while Orlando went 7-of-21 with six turnovers.
The Magic were again without starting forward Aaron Gordon (hamstring) and reserve guard Michael Carter-Williams (foot), who have not played in the series.
--Field Level Media