The Bucks re-take home-court advantage with an eventually comfortable 113-102 Game 3 win.
After trailing by as many as 15 in the first quarter, Milwaukee battled back but could never take over. Then, Khris Middleton arrived and helped them run away with the game.
Khris Middleton tonight:- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 28, 2021
This is the 2nd time ever a Bucks player had a 30/10/5/5-three playoff game. The first time was also Khris Middleton. pic.twitter.com/eba0TdL2ET
Along with Giannis Antetokounmpo (33 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals), he combined for 71 points to help the Bucks overcome Trae Young's 35-point night.
However, this game could have been a different story had Young not tweaked his ankle on an official's foot. Since his tweak, the Hawks were outscored 31-17.
That said, here's a quick look at the major takeaways from the game:
Middleton's late-game takeover
With 7:32 left, the Hawks led 95-88 but everything after that was the Middleton and the Bucks show.
For the rest of the game clock, Milwaukee went on a 25-7 run which included 17 from Middleton. He finished with 20 for the quarter, outscoring the Hawks tally by three.
KHRIS MIDDLETON IS ON FIRE 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/xA0EfqqNRh- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2021
The Bucks were waiting on Middleton to arrive in the series after he struggled to knock down shots in Games 1 and 2 - 12-of-36 from the field (33.3%) and 2-of-16 from 3-point range (12.5%).
Whereas in Game 3, the 6-foot-7 wing shot 15-of-26 from the field (57.7%) and 6-of-12 (50.0%) from beyond the arc. He was red-hot during his fourth-quarter scoring burst, just take a look at his shot chart:
Trae sparks Hawks' early punch
Coming off the 34-point blowout in Game 2, the Hawks came out firing early. They raced to a 17-4 lead after the first 4:30 minutes.
Young, who scored 11 of his team-high points tally in the first quarter, scored seven of the team's first 17 points.
36-footer 👀❄️ pic.twitter.com/uCVV7XNo69- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 28, 2021
Kevin Huerter was also a huge spark of the 17-4 run, scoring or assisting on 10.
Trailing by as many as 15, Milwaukee didn't let the game get away from them.
After that early 17-4 jump, they outscored the Hawks 23-15 over the rest of the period and with the help of some friendly bounce on a Middleton buzzer-beater, ensured that it would only be a five-point game (32-27) after the first 12 minutes.
From the end of the first quarter till their first lead, late in the third quarter, the Bucks were down by around five for a majority of the time. They did tie the game up a couple of times but could never take the lead.
Trae Young's night cut short
Despite the Bucks surging back, Young was leading the Hawks and ensuring they remain ahead.
He had 32 points through three quarters before his night was cut short after he injured his ankle. He appeared to tweak it on an official's foot as he looked to change direction.
Trae Young heads to the locker room with an apparent ankle injury- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2021
Prayers up 🙏 pic.twitter.com/KqbwUuUHMr
After a brief time in the locker room, reportedly to re-tape his ankle, Young returned but wasn't the same.
This was the eighth 30-point game of his postseason career, tying him with LeBron James for second-most in a single playoffs by a player aged 22 or younger.
Hawks from 3 vs. Bucks in paint
Before Middleton caught fire, the contest felt like a game of cat and mouse. The Hawks would dominate from beyond the arc while the Bucks were doing the same in the paint.
If you remove Middleton's 3-point makes in the final quarter, the Bucks would only have eight for the game while the Hawks, after an off-shooting 17-point fourth-quarter, had 15 for the game.
Meanwhile, in the paint, the Bucks outscored the Hawks by 32 (56-34).
The Bucks re-take home-court advantage and will look to put a stranglehold on the series by attempting to go up 3-1 when both teams suit up for Game 4 after a day off on Tuesday, June 29 at 8:30 p.m ET.
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