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Bucks Even Series Behind Middleton’s Timely Hits and Giannis’ Game-Saving Block

Khris Middleton Bucks Vs Suns Game 4

The Milwaukee Bucks have squared up the 2021 NBA Finals at two games apiece with a hard-earned Game 4 win.
Khris Middleton scored 40 points including 10 of the Bucks’ final 12 points of the game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s now-iconic late game block on Deandre Ayton helped save the game for the Bucks.

The 2021 NBA Finals is down to a three-game series after the Milwaukee Bucks hacked out a hard-earned 109-103 win in Wednesday’s Game 4 at the Fiserv Forum.

Just like in Game 3, the Bucks used their size to pound the Suns. However, there was no blow out this time around as Devin Booker exploded for 42 points after struggling to score just 10 in the previous game.

But Booker’s heroics weren’t enough as the Khris Middleton stepped up for the Bucks in the endgame while Giannis Antetokounmpo’s game-saving block was one for the ages.

Giannis’ Game Saving Block

This photo of Giannis’ block 🖼 pic.twitter.com/uyHxx6cWTk

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 15, 2021

Antetokounmpo’s streak of consecutive 40-point games in the Finals ended on Wednesday night. But the number that mattered more was 2, for their second straight victory and a 2-2 series tie heading to Game 5 in Phoenix.

The Greek Freak also made the game-saving block on Deandre Ayton.

Here’s another photo of it:

Another PHOTO & PHANTOM look at @Giannis_An34‘s huge rejection late in the @Bucks win! pic.twitter.com/YDRb0QcbEc

— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2021

A slo mo video of the block:

Slo-mo Giannis block of DeAndre Ayton 👀 pic.twitter.com/U1ktDeeFxR

— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) July 15, 2021

And in Phantom cam:

Giannis’ unreal block is even better in #PhantomCam. 🤯#ThatsGame #NBAFinals #FearTheDeer

Game 5: Saturday, 9 PM ET, ABC pic.twitter.com/0DDnR2CYKD

— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2021

Phoenix led by two points with two and a half minutes left in the game. But after back to back baskets by Khris Middleton, the Bucks took a 101-99 lead with 1:28 left to play in the game. It looked like the Suns would tie the score after Devin Booker threw a beautiful lob pass to Deandre Ayton who was 99% about to put the ball through the basket.

But in one of the greatest recovery plays of all-time, Antetokounmpo swooped in to block the shot and preserved Milwaukee’s two-point lead.

After two misses by the Bucks and a turnover by Chris Paul, Middleton scored on a layup and added two free throws for a 105-99 lead with 20.8 seconds left in the game.

Middleton Stepped Up

Khris Middleton stepped up in Game 4 🔥 pic.twitter.com/VaqkRZazgX

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 15, 2021

Middleton finished the game with 40 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. He shot just 15-33 from the field and only 3-8 from behind the three-point arc. However, he made the big baskets when the Bucks needed them most, scoring 10 of Milwaukee’s final 12 points of the game.

His output matched Devin Booker’s big bounce back game after a 10-point effort in Game 3. D-Book led the Suns with 42 points on 17-28 shooting including 7-8 from the free throw line. Booker however, missed all of his three point attempts and Phoenix shot 7-23 or 30% from deep as a team.

Aside from Middleton, Jrue Holiday also played big for the Bucks, especially on defense. Holiday had another horrible shooting game at 4-20 for 13 points but he had 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals plus terrific defense on Chris Paul who was limited to only 10 points on 5-13 shooting.

Bucks Pound the Suns

Bucks pound Suns to win game three of 2021 NBA Finals https://t.co/seksZjdgo7

— The Sporting Base (@thesportingbase) July 12, 2021

The Bucks pounded the Suns to win Game 3. Milwaukee grabbed more rebounds, scored more points in the paint, forced more fouls, and took more free throws than Phoenix by using their size advantage to slow down the prolific Suns offense. That worked as they blew out Phoenix out of the Fiserv Forum.

In Game 4, the Bucks did the same. They out-rebounded the Suns 17-5 off the offensive glass, outscored them 48-40 in points in the paint, forced more fouls 24-18, and took 10 more free throws while scoring 8 more points from the stripe. Milwaukee’s scrappy play also forced 17 turnovers while they committed just 5 giveaways.

So the Bucks have won back to back games while using their size advantage to neutralize the Suns explosive offense. Now it’s Monty Williams who will need to make adjustments as the series returns to their home court for Game 5. The BetOnline App has opened the Suns as 4-point favorites to hold court.