The defending NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks closed out their series against Chicago Bulls in five games with another dominant win at home.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was his dominant self with 33 points and nine rebounds as the Bucks rolled to a 116-100 win on Thursday (PKT).
The bigger story is that Milwaukee Bucks continue to produce in the postseason even without key performers.
They won the last three games by an average of 23.3 points despite playing without the All-Star Khris Middleton, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the fourth quarter of Game 2.
They most definitely were helped by experience as they won their first title since 1971 last season despite losing Antetokounmpo for the last two games of the Eastern Conference finals due to a hyperextended knee.
Antetokounpmo appeared to get his left wrist treated during the first half which can be a cause for concern but it clearly didn’t limit his effectiveness.
Antetokounmpo himself added afterward that he felt “great.”
Pat Connaughton went 6 of 9 on 3-point attempts and scored 20 points. Bobby Portis added 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
While the Bucks thrived without Middleton, Chicago didn’t handle the loss of key players quite as well.
The Bulls played without the starting backcourt they used for the first four games because Zach LaVine was in health and safety protocols and Alex Caruso was in concussion protocol.
Without them on the floor, the Bulls fell behind by as many as 29 points in the first half.
Milwaukee turned its focus on containing DeRozan, who had scored 41 points in the Bulls’ only series win in Game 2.
DeRozan was held to just 11 points in the final game while going 5 of 10 from the field with seven assists to his name. He was held scoreless in the first 26 minutes of the game and attempted just one shot in the first quarter as he tried to get his teammates involved.
Patrick Williams scored 23 points, Nikola Vucevic 19 and Coby White 17 for the Bulls with Vucevic also adding 16 rebounds and six assists in a losing effort.
The third-seeded Bucks will face a much sterner test in the form of the second-seeded Boston in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, with Game 1 on Sunday in Boston (PKT).