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The Bucks Demolished The Hawks To Even The Eastern Conference Finals At 1-1

Milwaukee rolled over the Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 125-91, responding in impressive fashion to even the series at 1-1. As he has for much of the playoffs, Giannis Antetokounmpo rose to the occasion to open the night. After the Hawks stole one on the road to open the series, and Giannis came out hyper-aggressive in response, putting up a 17-7-5 line in the first half alone.

The Bucks were dominant on both ends, keeping the Hawks to just 42 percent shooting and turning defense and missed shots into points on the other end. Aside from a huge Giannis half, the other big difference for Milwaukee was the emergence of Bobby Portis, as he rewarded the Bucks’ coaching staff’s trust with seven points in his first 10 minutes.

But for the most part, Milwaukee just played an extremely high-level of its usual style, with Brook Lopez defending the rim much better than he did in Game 1 while also making threes and rebounding, and Khris Middleton playing well enough on both ends to keep the Hawks honest.

After a 26-5 run (including a 20-0 stretch), the Bucks went into halftime with a 77-45 lead.

On the Hawks’ side, Trae Young started the game 1-for-7, clearly frustrated by Jrue Holiday’s tight defense and Milwaukee’s overall fight. Young also had eight turnovers in the first half. We also saw Bogdan Bogdanovic back in the starting lineup after he missed Game 1, and the return of Cam Reddish, who appeared for the first time since Feb. 21.

To open the third quarter, the Bucks kept their foot on the gas, with Giannis scoring eight quick points and their defense continuing to squelch out any Atlanta momentum. Early in the period, Young also tied his career high with nine turnovers, a signal of how much Milwaukee stymied Atlanta’s offense.

The only question left to be answered by the time the fourth rolled around was whether Giannis, Middleton and Holiday would play at all, and the answer turned out to be no. But to keep the silliness going, we did get a highlight that didn’t count, from Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

The series heads to Atlanta on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. EST.

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