Antetokounmpo imposes his law and the Bucks annihilate the Magic

Those from Wisconsin complete the Eastern semifinals, after winning comfortably in the fifth (118-104) and reversing the series. Giannis, with 28 points, again led his team in attack.


Once the 72-hour earthquake that the 13 franchises present in Orlando experienced and which could end the season, basketball was once again the protagonist in the bubble. The Bucks, leaders of the boycott, beat the Magic (118-104) without too much difficulty, who have lost their team both physically and tactically over the games. After a surprising first win, Clifford's men have fallen by 14 points or more in the next 4 stakes. The fifth duel of the series started with disorder and mistakes in both rings. The game was broken in just 2 minutes, midway through the first quarter, when the Bucks endorsed a 9-2 run, which allowed Budenholzer's men to double the Magic on the scoreboard.

The Wisconsin team went to 10. However, the Magic slightly raised the defensive level in the last 3 minutes of the set, in which Budenholzer's team barely scored 3 points, and managed to finish the quarter 5 points behind the leaders of the This. Both teams finished with very poor shooting percentages, neither exceeded 37% and the Magic barely hit twice from the perimeter. Furthermore, no player managed to register double digits on their account. The one who was closest was Antetokounmpo, who with 8 points and 6 rebounds was already looking askance at a potential double-double.

The match was broken in the second quarter. Those of Budenholzer endorsed a partial exit of 18-10 and the rents went from oscillating between 5 and 8 points to be well above the psychological barrier of 10 points. The offensive growth of the Bucks' 5 man wide open was very remarkable. Their hitting percentages in field goals went from 37 to 52, while they managed to score 7 of the 13 triples they threw during the quarter. Much of the blame was Antetokounmpo, with 14 points in the second set, and the stellar appearance of Middleton, whom the Greek will need more regularly to try to solve the series against the Heat. The '22' added 9 points in the quarter and left with a 50% success at halftime.

In the third quarter, the film changed characters slightly but the rents remained solvent in favor of the Bucks. Clifford's men managed to slightly improve their hitting percentages and solidify behind, receiving only 23 points. Despite this, the losses and failures to face the rim in moments of poor streak of Budenholzer prevented further reducing the advantages. Although it was not being their best night, Vucevic, with 16 points but 1 of 6 in triples, and Fournier, with 13 points but with a poor 3 of 9 in field goals, allowed the Magic to improve the image of the second quarter and dream that all was not yet lost.

That dream was taking shape when Orlando's men endorsed a 14-6 partial start and put the rope around Budenholzer's neck, who with 7 minutes to go were seen with just 3 rental points, after having reached even a 21-point lead. After Budenholzer's timeout, once Fournier scored from the perimeter at 96-93, the Wisconsin second-row rebellion arrived. Players like Korver, Marvin Williams or the desired Middleton allowed the Bucks to get the safety barrier on the scoreboard and increase the income with advantages of between 6 and 9 points.

As a result of 105-96, which reflected the scoreboard with just 4 minutes to go before the horn sounded, the Bucks lived off the opponent's mistake and fleeting appearances from the middle distance of Bledsoe, the Antetokounmpo perimeter and up to 8 shots free. Those of Budenholzer suffered in the last quarter, but they knew how to cope with the good start of those of Clifford and finish prevailing with some solvency. Giannis' 5 fouls determined a last set, which perhaps with the Greek on the court at full capacity would have been another story. In this way, the Bucks solve the tie and maintain their immaculate trajectory, when the score of the series reflects a 3-1 in favor of Wisconsin. They are already 8 of 8. In contrast, the Magic fall for the fourth consecutive time in the first round of the playoffs.

Budenholzer's men are now waiting for the Heat. Those of Spoelstra activated the steamroller and beat the Pacers 4-0, elimination that saw the dismissal of McMillan in front of the Indiana. To date, the Bucks and Heat have met 115 times, Miami has prevailed in 70 of those meetings. The last one was in the bubble itself. On that occasion, the Wisconsin team scored the victory 130-116. The Heat will arrive more rested at the beginning of the series, they have not competed since August 25, a factor that should not why play a good pass.

The ghost of losing a competitive rhythm after so many consecutive games can always take its toll. Budenholzer's men must wait for the best version of their headlines to overshadow Giannis. And not just Middleton. The López, Robin did not play the fifth against the Magic, DiVincenzo, with just 4 points in 12 minutes in the last of the series, or Bledsoe will have to find his best version to face the Butler, Crowder, Adebayo, Dragic, Nunn or Duncan Robinson. A series that is exciting. The Bucks will once again seek the conference final, while the Heat seek to fulfill a dream that just 2 seasons ago was unthinkable.

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