The Milwaukee Bucks started Game 5 fast, at one point grabbing a 13-point lead against the Miami Heat early in the game. After the first quarter, they were up 28-19.
Jimmy Butler and his crew didn’t back down, though, and used a huge 33-18 second quarter performance to take a 52-46 lead at halftime.
The Bucks never managed to get it going again, and the closest they got was within one point at 57-56 in the third quarter. Unfortunately for them, they instantly went cold after that and allowed their opponents to rebuild the lead and then hold on.
Khris Middleton gave his all for the Bucks before fouling out of the game, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal – but also had six turnovers. Brook Lopez contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds.
For the Heat, the story of the day was about toughness and teamwork again. No one hit the 20-point mark, but six players reached double digits:
- Jimmy Butler (17)
- Goran Dragic (17)
- Jae Crowder (16)
- Tyler Herro (14)
- Bam Adebayo (13)
- Kelly Kolynyk (12)
The 103-94 victory pushes the Heat’s playoff record to 8-1. They’ll now be waiting for the winner of the series between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.
The Bucks will have a lot of reflecting to do, and this latest disappointment will be a cause for concern. Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the final year of his contract, and other teams may start to look tempting.
This is the second year in a row that the Bucks had the best regular season record and didn’t manage to reach the NBA Finals.
They had a regression in progress too. Last year, they lost to the eventual champion Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, they couldn’t even reach that stage, and never really were in their series against the Heat.