After eeking out an overtime win in Game 1, the Milwaukee Bucks made a statement in Game 2, cruising to a 132-98 win to take a 2-0 series lead over the Miami Heat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 31 points 13 rebounds, and six assists, while Jrue Holiday dished out a playoff career-high 15 assists in the wire-to-wire victory.
Let's jump into the key takeaways from tonight's win.
1. Bucks' fast start
The Bucks set the tone in the first quarter racing out to a 46-20 lead after 12 minutes and they never looked back, with their 26-point lead tying the largest lead at the end of a first-quarter in NBA playoff history.
Their 78 first-half points are the most in a first half in Bucks playoff history!
46 points in the 1st Q for Milwaukee.. and some DEFENSE from Pat Connaughton! 🔥🔒#NBAPlayoffs on TNT pic.twitter.com/X91dcMINLv- NBA (@NBA) May 25, 2021
2. Giannis is locked in
Following his 26-point, 18-rebound performance in Game 1, Antetokounmpo was at his dominant best tonight, dropping 31 points, 13 rebounds (6 offensive), 6 assists, and three steals on 12-of-23 from the field, despite going 1-of-7 from deep.
The Heat had no answer for Antetokounmpo in transition or in the pick-and-roll as he got to the rim with ease. not even a Flagrant foul in the third quarter could stop him from getting this layup.
Even a foul can't stop Giannis. pic.twitter.com/zKEob29svg- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 25, 2021
Early in the fourth quarter, with the Bucks in front by 29 points, after Antetokounmpo was fouled he spring to his feet and showed off his soccer skills, juggling the ball, much to the delight of the home crowd.
5 star skills for The Greek Freak ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/6fpYS1DTC4- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 25, 2021
3. Bryn Forbes catches fire
The Heat can live with Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Holiday getting theirs, but they couldn't have prepared for the scorching shooting of Bryn Forbes.
The reserve guard started the game burying seven of his first eight shots, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, on his way to 22 points.
"That's what I do," Forbes said. "I didn't change. It was a bad shooting game for us last game, about time something fell."
BRYN FORBES. FEELING IT.- NBA (@NBA) May 25, 2021
He's 7-8 from the field and 5-6 from three in the 1st half on TNT 🔥 #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/4P8euDSuE0
4. Dialed in from deep
After making just five 3-pointers in Game 1, the Bucks responded with an avalanche from beyond the arc in Game 2.
Their 10 first-quarter threes tied the NBA Playoff record for most threes in a quarter, while their 15 makes in the first half is the most threes made in a half in franchise history.
78 points- NBA (@NBA) May 25, 2021
Both @Bucks #NBAPlayoffs franchise records for a half. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NeUDt4lNny
They finished the game 22-of-53 from deep, setting a new franchise playoff record, which is also the most threes the Heat have given up ina playoff game in franchise history.
Meanwhile, the Heat, who set a franchise playoff record for made 3-pointers in Game 1, went just 8-of-28 tonight.
In a 34-point win, the Bucks outscored the Heat from beyond the arc by 42 points (66-24).
5. Lopez sets the defensive tone
For all the offensive production the Bucks produced in Game 2, it was their defence that set the tone, led by big man Brook Lopez.
Lopez did a stellar job keeping Bam Adebayo out of the game, daring him to shoot as the All-Star finished with just 16 points, four assists and three rebounds on 5-of-11 from the field.
The veteran big man anchored the Bucks defence all night, forcing Miami's guards away from the rim, while they dominated the Heat on the glass, outrebounding them 61-36, including 21 on the offensive end!
6. Holiday giving
The playoffs continue to show just how valuable Holiday's addition to the Bucks has been on both sides of the floor, especially with his defence on the perimeter, but his ability to create plays for others and alleviate the playmaking responsibilities from Antetokounmpo was on full display in Game 2.
🦌 15 DIMES for @Jrue_Holiday11- NBA (@NBA) May 25, 2021
🦌 #NBAPlayoffs career-high
Bucks seek 3-0 lead Thursday on TNT pic.twitter.com/62oQXyps7V
Holiday recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and 15 assists tonight, the most in a playoff game by a Buck since TJ Ford had 15 in 2006 and one shy of the franchise record held by Paul Pressey and Oscar Robertson.
7. Jimmy struggles to find rhythm
The Heat's playoff hero last season has found the going tough through two games against the Bucks' stingy defence, combining for 27 points and just 10 points tonight on 4-of-10 shooting.
Antetokounmpo has spent more time guarding Butler through two games, causing plenty of frustration and with their increased switching, the combination of Anteotkounmpo and Jrue Holiday on the perimeter is forcing the ball out of his hands or into tough shots.
"The bright spot is I don't think we could play any worse," Butler said post-game.
"We get an opportunity to play again and get it to 2-1."
Jimmy Butler in the Bucks series:- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 25, 2021
-42 +/- (lowest on team) pic.twitter.com/fvgdqdSN2k
8. What's next?
The series shifts to Miami for the next two games, with Game 3 scheduled for Friday at 5:00 a.m. IST on NBA League Pass.
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