Florida, United States, Aug 29 (efe-epa).- The 72-hour hiatus experienced by the NBA was good for the Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Orlando Magic 118-104 in the last of the best-of-seven series to win it 4-1.
The Bucks will now play in the Eastern Conference semifinals to another Florida team, the Miami Heat, who swept the Indiana Pacers away in their 4-0 series win.
Greek center Giannis Antetokounmpo with a double-double of 28 points, 17 rebounds and three assists, showed the three-day rest was good for him await the duel against Heat, which will be much more complicated than the Magic, who were only competitive in the first game.
Along with Antetokounmpo, forward Khris Middleton confirmed he had overcome the temporary crisis that dragged his offensive game and the contribution of another double-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, left him as the second-highest scorer for the Bucks.
Cuban-American center Brook López finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while power forward Marvin Williams and point guard George Hill, one of the promoters of the boycott of the team Wednesday in protest of the police shooting Jacob Blake, finished with 12 and 11 points.
Hill was also not present during the intonation of the national anthem before the game against the Magic began.
The Bucks players said they were “proud” of the decision they made of not wanting to play Wednesday’s game, which they did play on Saturday, although it was something they did not consult with the rest of the teams.
The Bucks had a 21-point lead cut to three in the fourth quarter before regaining control with the help of timely shots from outside the perimeter from Williams, who scored his 12 points on four 3-of-five attempts and was instrumental in the Bucks in their fourth straight win.
Montenegrin Swiss center Nicola Vucevic finished with a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Magic leader, while French guard-forward Evan Fournier added 18 points.
Milwaukee led 74-53 following Middleton’s three-pointers early in the second half, still leading by 20 with about three minutes left in the third quarter before Orlando suddenly made a comeback in the game.
Consecutive triples by guard Terrence Ross and forward Wes Iwindu, followed by a charge by point guard D.J. Augustin led a 24-7 streak that saw the Magic go 96-93 when Fournier hit a 3-pointer with 7:37 left.
Then Antetokounmpo and Middleton hit the court again, and the Magic “rebellion” was immediately put to rest. EFE-EPA