Bucks In 6 Happened As Milwaukee Knocked Off Atlanta To Secure A Spot In The Finals

The Milwaukee Bucks will play for an NBA championship. Despite the fact that the team was without the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo as he’s working to bounce back from a hyperextended knee, Milwaukee walked into Atlanta and took down the Hawks in Game 6, 118-107, thanks to huge nights from their two stars who could take the floor.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday came up absolutely gigantic when Milwaukee needed them most. Holiday was on his game all evening, mixing a very solid offensive night with the usual pesky defense that has made him such a good player throughout his career. His 27 points were his second-most throughout this postseason run, with nine assists, nine rebounds, four steals, and two blocks.

But when it came time for someone to create breathing room between the two teams, Middleton was masterful. Middleton fed the Hawks defense a steady diet of jumpers during the third quarter, as he scored 23 of his 32 points in the period. Like Holiday, Middleton stuffed the stat sheet, pitching in seven assists, four rebounds, and three steals.

And as is usually the case, a number of veterans who have never gotten to this point before did what they could to get the team over the hump. Pat Connaughton and Jeff Teague had 13 (with eight rebounds) and 11, respectively, off the bench, while Brook Lopez scored 13, Bobby Portis had 12 and nine rebounds, and PJ Tucker had five, although his only made triple on the evening was the dagger.

For Atlanta, the surprise of the night was the emergence of Cameron Reddish. After making his postseason debut in Game 2 following a four-month injury absence, Reddish had the best game of his young professional career. He competed admirably on defense, and on the other end of the floor, the former Duke standout was lights out from deep. He scored 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and a breathtaking 6-for-7 mark from three.

A heads up play late in the game breathed some light into the Hawks’ comeback attempt, as Reddish saw Clint Capela streaking down the floor after a turnover and fed him for a dunk.

But on the whole, it just wasn’t Atlanta’s night. Unsurprisingly, Trae Young’s foot injury was a major issue, as he scored 14 points on 4-for-17 shooting with no made threes, although he pitched in nine assists. Bogdan Bogdanovic did his best, scoring 20, with Clint Capela mixing in 14 points and both John Collins and Danilo Gallinari having 13.

Now, for the first time since 1974, the Bucks are headed to the NBA Finals. A major test is ahead of them, as the Phoenix Suns are the champions of the Western Conference, and it is unclear if Antetokounmpo’s knee injury will keep him from playing on the game’s biggest stage. We’ll have to wait a few days to find out β€” Game 1 of the NBA Finals will take place in Phoenix, and is scheduled to tip off on Tuesday, July 6 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.