In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, both Trae Young and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s statuses were up in the air as the Atlanta Hawks tried to extend the series to seven games and the Milwaukee Bucks looked to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.
The Hawks got their star back in Trae Young in this game while the Bucks held out Giannis again. It didn’t matter as the Bucks did just enough to win the series to face the Phoenix Suns for the NBA title next week.
No. 3 Bucks 118, No. 5 Hawks 107
Bucks win series 4-2. They will return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.
This game was won for the Milwaukee Bucks in the third quarter. The Bucks put up 44 points led by a scoring explosion by Khris Middleton. Middleton dropped 23 (including 16 straight Bucks points) of his game high 32 points coming out of halftime.
Then when the Hawks mounted a 21-7 run in the fourth quarter, it was Jrue Holiday making big play after big play to make sure Milwaukee would advance. He finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals.
Trae Young really tried to give it a go, but his ankle made it hard for him to penetrate to run the pick and roll, which is basically the Hawks half court offense. He finished with only 14 points (4-17 shooting) and 9 assists. Cam Reddish had a coming out party leading the Hawks in scoring with 21 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 20.
Ultimately it was the inability for the Hawks to get timely rebounds late and their turnovers did them in. Milwaukee scored 25 points off of 16 Atlanta turnovers.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is on Tuesday.