MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks stepped up on Thursday night without their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo as they cruised to a 123-112 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5.
The Hawks were without star point guard Trae Young for the second straight game as well, who has a foot injury.
It was a collective effort for Milwaukee without Giannis. Bucks center Brook Lopez led all scorers with 33 points, going 14-for-18 from the field. Khris Middleton who has had an impressive series score 26 points and added 13 rebounds and eight assists. Jrue Holiday scored 25 and Bobby Portis added 22.
The Bucks now have a 3-2 series lead but with the statuses of both Giannis and Young unknown, we really don't know what comes next in this series.
"I think the Bucks were obviously shell-shocked (in Game 4) after Giannis' injury, but they came out Thursday as a team that was trying to get to the Finals and give Giannis a chance to come back and help them," Madden said on Locked On Today.
Bobby Portis was getting a lot of love from the crowd for his play on Thursday night and Madden said it was a bit of an X factor with Giannis out.
"Portis slides into the lineup, 22 points and he took 20 shots, so it's not like it was a hyper-efficient scoring night for him but the energy from him, the way he got the crowd going," Madden said. "He's not a defensive guy by reputation, but he had three steals, he's picking Lou Williams in isolation. He was at one with the crowd and for him to do that on a night when they absolutely needed it was crucial."
The series heads back to Atlanta for Game 6 as the status of Giannis and Trae Young remains to be known. If Milwaukee wins Game 6, they will head to the NBA Finals to take on the Phoenix Suns.
Also on today's Locked On Today:
- Locked On Seahawks host Corbin Smith joins the show to discuss the bizarre story of now ex-Seahawk WR Tamorrion Terry being charged with murder.
- Locked On Brewers host Jake Mastroianni talks about why the Milwaukee Brewers are one of baseball's hottest teams.
- College athletes were granted rights to profit off their name, image and likeness and Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy back.
- NFL fines Washington Football Team $10 million as a result of league's investigation into workplace culture.
- Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. are heading to their first MLB All-Star Game.
- Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer facing a sexual assault allegation but still on track to make a scheduled start on Sunday.
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