Khris Middleton scored 26 points and added 13 rebounds and Jrue Holiday put up 25 points and 13 assists but the real story of Game 5 was Brook Lopez breaking out for 33 points as the Milwaukee Bucks moved one step closer to the NBA Finals with a 123-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Milwaukee has a chance to close out the series Saturday evening in Atlanta. Bobby Portis, who stared in place of the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo, tallied 22 points and eight rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Atlanta with 28 points.
The Bucks covered the spread at -6.5. The over hit at 215.5.
The Bucks immediately got the upper hand as Holiday and Middleton sparked a 10-2 run. Lopez and Portis got in the act to extend the advantage to as much as 20 points near the end of the first quarter. The Hawks struggled to start, missing six straight shots during the opening stretch to allow the Bucks to get ahead big.
The deficit stayed there for much of the second quarter, but Bogdanovic and John Collins hit a pair of triples before halftime to give the Hawks a manageable nine-point difference at the break. Atlanta would cut the gap to seven points early in the third quarter, but Middleton, Lopez and Portis sparked a 16-8 Milwaukee run to ultimately create some separation again. The Hawks were never able to consistently get enough stops to get back in the game the rest of the way.
Antetokounmpo and Young will be re-evaluated ahead of Game 6 with the latter far more likely to suit up. Young warmed up ahead of Game 5 after being listed as questionable, but was ultimately ruled out of the contest. While there is no structural damage in Antetokounmpo’s knee based on the MRI, the Bucks have yet to put a timetable on his return. He’s sidelined indefinitely.
The Hawks were unable to go to their strength on the glass, losing the rebounding battle 47-40 to the Bucks . Atlanta did shoot better from behind the arc, but also committed 14 costly turnovers.
Game 6 is Saturday in Atlanta at 8:30 p.m. ET.