Khris Middleton’s 40 points and his sequence in the final period were what made the difference in the end. The Bucks’ forward had a key role in the win, as he scored 10 points during Milwaukee’s comeback run and constantly had the ball in his possession during the finish of the contest.
Middleton was 15-for-33 from the field, had 6 boards and four assists.
Giannis was short of a triple-double with 26 points, 14 boards, and eight assists. His block on Deandre Ayton in the last minute solved the match. After back-to-back 40+ point games, the Greek Freak put aside his ego and played for Middleton.
Jrue Holiday scored 13 points, 4-for-20 from the field, but performed magnificently in defense, as he completely stopped Chris Paul. For the first time in the series, the Suns’ playmaker didn’t have a solution in offense, making turnovers, some of them in essential moments.
Brooke Lopes scored 14 points, and Pat Connaughton 11.
On the other side, Devin Booker was on fire with 42 buckets. He broke Rick Barry’s record from 1967 for the most points in the first playoff appearance. D-Bok now has 542, and Barry posted 527.
Those 42 buckets would be much better if it weren’t for five fouls Booker earned. Head coach Monty Williams had to pull him out of the game for a while and save him for the finish.
Chris Paul’s contribution was low. Point God had only 10 points with seven assists and five turnovers, two in the late phase, with the game on the line. Paul was 5-for-13 from the field and without a single free throw.
Jae Crowder scored 15 points with eight boards, and Cameron Johnson added 10, and those guys were the only ones left with ten or more buckets.
Ayton struggled in offense and eventually posted just six points, 3-for-9. He did have 17 boards, but that couldn’t help the Suns. Throughout the majority of the game, he was guarding Giannis.
The difference in free throws proved to be decisive once more. While Suns had 19, the Bucks’ players went to the foul line 29 times. It erased the fact that the guests had a much better shooting percentage, 51.3%, compared to Milwaukee’s 40.2%.
Game 5 is in Phoenix this Friday night.