It took a teamwide effort without Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bucks are one win away from their first Finals appearance since 1974.
They now lead the Eastern Conference finals over the Hawks, 3-2, courtesy of a 123-112 victory Thursday. Antetokounmpo was out with a hyperextended left knee, so the Bucks got it done with balance.
Brook Lopez scored a playoff career-high of 33 points, with Khris Middleton (26), Jrue Holiday (25) and Bobby Portis (22) each surpassing 20 points themselves. Middleton added 13 rebounds and Holiday 13 assists.
“I thought we just did a great job of playing together,” Lopez told reporters. “Obviously Khris and Jrue did their normal job making plays for everyone. We want everyone scoring and doing their thing. That’s tough on a defense.”
Game 6 is Saturday in Atlanta. Hawks star Trae Young missed his second straight game with a bone bruise in his foot.
More from Milwaukee
- Portis also had eight rebounds and three steals, and has played well in this series after barely making a dent vs. the Nets. “He just plays with great passion. I think his passion is infectious,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The crowd can feel that, his teammates can feel that, coaches can feel it.”
- Milwaukee burst out to a 30-10 lead in a game in which it never trailed. “We wanted to come out strong and hit first,” Holiday said.
- ESPN reported there is no timetable for Antetokounmpo to return — though several outlets have suggested he could be lost for the season.
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