ORLANDO, Florida— The Milwaukee Bucks stormed back to defeat the Miami Heat 130-116 on Thursday afternoon. The win clinches the top seed in the NBA playoffs for the Bucks.
The Bucks were sloppy in every way the last two games, and the first half gave no indication this would be any different. Miami shot 13/21 from deep, leading by as much as 23, and the Bucks continued to struggle with turnovers. However, the Bucks came out of the halftime like their hair was on fire.
A Return to Form
Milwaukee finally played like the team that was on pace to win 70 games once the third quarter began. Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo were instrumental in the comeback—they assisted or scored on the first 20 points scored in the quarter. Giannis would finish with 33 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Another monster performance for the MVP favorite.
OH MY GIANNIS!! pic.twitter.com/trW4xE97rc
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 6, 2020
Above all else, improvements on defense set the tone for the comeback. Milwaukee smothered the heat in the second half—holding them to 31.7% shooting and allowed only eight made three-pointers.
Down the stretch, it went from a close game to absolute dominance for Milwaukee. They scored 20 unanswered points over a four-minute span in the fourth quarter to ice the game away.
The player of the game must be Khris Middleton who finished with 33 points, six rebounds and eight assists—including 5/6 from three-point range. Giannis and Middleton combined for 66 points on only 31 shots.
Eric Bledsoe and his elite defensive skills returned to the lineup today, and didn’t seem to miss a beat. He finished with an effective nine points, eight rebounds and five assists and two timely steals. His return can only be a good thing for a team that will need him if they are to win the title.
The Bucks will return to the court on August 8th (7:30 p.m. C.T.).