The Bucks take 109-103 race-4, trailed by the 40 points of their second violin. Race-5 in the Italian night between Saturday and Sunday in Arizona
The great evening of Devin Booker (42 points) is not enough, the Bucks bring out the character, recover a passive of nine lengths in the final fraction and bring home a fundamental success in Game-4, thus equalizing the scores in the series. Milwaukee enjoys a super Middleton (40 points) and wins 109-103. The Finals now at 2-2: back to Phoenix for game-5, scheduled at 3 am on the Italian night between Saturday and Sunday.
Booker immediately makes it clear that Game-3 is just a hiccup and punishes the defense of Milwaukee by giving lessons in the art, now disused in the NBA, of the mid-range. Phoenix plays with more energy despite Chris Paul being less effective. Giannis goes to AC, the most reliable player of the Milwaukee attack so he becomes Middleton. Phoenix touches +9, then the Bucks slowly begin to find rhythm in attack and come back below. Antetokounmpo’s flashes help the home team in the second quarter, but Booker remains a thorn in the side for the Bucks defense. Middleton and Lopez sign important baskets. CP3 continues to struggle at an offensive level Milwaukee, however, fails to take advantage of Holiday’s problems in attack and especially for the bad percentages (3/16 at half-time) from long distance. At the end of the first half, however, the scoreboard says 52 even. Giannis’ change of pace is expected in the third fraction, but instead a stellar Booker will silence the Fiserv Forum. The player returning from his worst performance in the postseason invents baskets with a very high difficulty quotient and from the middle distance he seems absolutely infallible. Paul can’t get back on track, no problem for the Suns, Booker takes care of keeping the visiting team in front. Antetokounmpo tries to make himself heard in the painted area, Middleton helps the cause but the appeal in attack is once again missing Holiday. Meanwhile, Devin Booker, despite his fourth foul, continues to find the basket with disarming ease. His 18 points in a cinematic third quarter bring him to 38 at the end of the third quarter.
question of fouls
The defense of Milwaukee does not seem to have any response to Booker’s plays but at the beginning of the fourth period comes an avoidable fifth foul by the player who is producing an offensive masterpiece. A big problem for Monty Williams who is obviously forced to remove his All Star at 10’50 ” from the siren. The Bucks gain confidence and after going down nine lengths they are back in the slipstream. Giannis realizes that he has to increase the engine revs, Middleton follows him and Milwaukee takes back the Suns. Booker comes back 5’55 ” from the end and takes a big risk when 3’30 ” from the siren defends Holiday’s penetration too decisively. The referees do not feel like calling him the sixth foul and Phoenix breathes a sigh of relief. It is played point by point until the end and the intensity rises exponentially. The ending is gorgeous. Middleton gives the hosts +2 at 1’30 ” from the siren, then comes the extraordinary block by Giannis on Ayton. Phoenix needs a Booker spell but Chris Paul closes a game to forget with the turnover that basically condemns the Suns. Middleton thanks brings the Bucks to +4 then finally closes the score from the line. We then return to Arizona at 2-2.
Milwaukee: Middleton 40 (12/25, 3/8, 7/8 tl), Antetokounmpo 26, Lopez 14. Rebounds: Antetokounmpo 14. Assist: Antetokounmpo 8.
Phoenix: Booker 42 (15/25, 0/3, 8/9 tl), Crowder 15, Johnson, Paul 10. Rebounds: Ayton 17. Assists: Paul 7.
July 15, 2021 (change July 15, 2021 | 06:20)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED