Devastating Antetokounmpo helps sweep Bulls aside as Bucks lead series 3-1
Led by a devastating Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks added another resounding 119-95 away win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday to advance 3-1 in the NBA playoffs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks added another resounding 119-95 away win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday to advance 3-1 in the NBA playoffs.
Milwaukee, the reigning NBA champions, will have a golden opportunity to advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference next Wednesday on their home court.
The Bulls, who fell by 30 points on Friday, disappointed again on Sunday in front of their United Center crowd, finding no answer to Antetokounmpo’s exuberant play.
The Greek power forward, who is terrorising defenders in this series, bagged 32 points, 17 rebounds and 7 assists.
Antetokounmpo completed his twelfth playoff game with at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, second only in history to LeBron James (48 games) and Larry Bird (19).
Taking advantage of the defensive attention on Antetokounmpo, backup point guard Grayson Allen was once again a luxury reliever for the injured Khris Middleton.
Following Friday’s 22 points and 5 three-pointers, Allen tormented the Bulls from the perimeter with another 27 points and 7 three-pointers.
Allen is the first player in franchise history with at least five 3-pointers in consecutive postseason games.
“I have to trust my teammates. I know they’re going to sink shots and make big plays,” Antetokounmpo said of the performance of secondaries like Allen or Bobby Portis (14 points and 10 rebounds).
“When you move the ball, the ball has energy. When everyone touches it, everyone has energy, everyone can make plays,” stressed the Greek star, one of the three finalists for the season’s MVP award.
On the Bulls’ side, their trio of star players was again unable to take the game. Shooting guard Zach LaVine started with 12 points in the first quarter but slowed down to finish with 24.
Veteran DeMar DeRozan, who shined in the regular phase until he was considered an MVP candidate, continues to be unimpressive in this series and finished with 23 points while Montenegrin center Nikola Vucevic had 11.
The Bulls were also without point guard Alex Caruso, their best perimeter defender, who left the game shortly before halftime after taking an apparently unintentional elbow to the face from Jevon Carter.
Caruso was being evaluated for a possible concussion, which could keep him out of the next game, according to ESPN.
The Bulls, who have not advanced past a first-round playoff series since 2015, trailed by as many as 24 points (110-86) with four and a half minutes remaining.