Milwaukee (USA), May 24 (EFE) .- Power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo became a true gale of physical power, scoring inspiration and leadership ability that left him at the forefront of the unstoppable attack of the Milwaukee Bucks that they defeated the Miami Heat 132-98 in the second game of the first-round eliminator of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The victory allows the Bucks to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series and the third will be played on Thursday at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
The Bucks are trying to topple the team that beat them 4-1 in the second round last year, in what was the big upset at the Orlando “Bubble.”
Milwaukee’s two victories this season couldn’t have been more different.
The Bucks needed forward Khris Middleton’s jump shot with 0.5 seconds remaining in overtime to clinch a 109-107 victory in Game 1, which neither team led by more than eight points.
Milwaukee essentially left the second in the first quarter sentenced, as his 3-point attack went from being a nightmare for the Miami team.
The Bucks had made just 5 3-pointers of 31 attempts, the fewest shots from outside the perimeter of the season during the first half of the opening game on Saturday.
The Milwaukee team had 10 3-pointers on 15 attempts in just 12 minutes of the first quarter and went into halftime with a partial 78-51 advantage, registering the highest total points in the first half in their playoff history.
Milwaukee’s 10 triples in the opening period tied a playoff record for triples in one period. The Cleveland Cavaliers scored the same in the second quarter of a 123-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on May 4, 2016.
Antetokounmpo finished the game with a double-double of 31 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, three ball recoveries and a block that left him in front of the Bucks attack, who finished the game with 49 percent on shots from field and 42% from 3s after scoring 22 of 53 attempts, including 15 of 29 in the first half, and he was never far behind as he led by as much as 36 points.
The Bucks’ 22 3-pointers were their highest total in a playoff game.
Along with Antetokounmpo, five other players had double-digit numbers, including reserve guard-forward Bryn Forbes, the former San Antonio Spurs player, who finished the game with 22 points after scoring 6 of 9 3-point attempts, in addition to capturing five. defensive rebounds.
Starting forward Khris Middleton had another 17 points, reserve guard-forward Pat Connaughton also shone with 3s, scoring five of nine, which was all he hit.
While point guard Jrue Holiday confirmed his leadership status in the direction of the game and demonstrated it with a double-double of 11 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds.
Jrue Holiday’s 15 assists were one of the Bucks’ playoff record shared by Paul Pressey and Oscar Robertson.
Faced with so much dominance in all facets of the game, the Heat had nothing to contribute because they had neither individual nor team leadership to respond to the great game of the Bucks, who finished the regular season with the third best record in the Eastern Conference.
The game was decided in the first quarter after the Bucks scored 46 points to 20 for the Heat, who again showed all the weaknesses they have in their squad, and especially given the lack of prominence from forward Jimmy Butler and center Bam Adebayo .
Both combined for 26 points, five rebounds and eight assists, lower than the individual production with which Antetokounmpo finished the game.
Veteran backup center Dewayne Dedmon finished as the Heat’s surprise leading scorer with 19 points and nine rebounds.
While the veteran Slovenian point guard Goran Dragic reached 18 with four assists, also coming off the bench, and being the second highest scorer for the Heat, who also played a very rough game which cost him the veteran guard-forward Dominican-born Trevor Ariza received a flagrant foul for pushing Antetokounmpo in the chest.
This time, the Heat were also uninspired by shooting from outside the perimeter, finishing with 8 of 28 attempts for a 29 percent accuracy rate.
While the Bucks also outscored the Heat 61-36.
(c) EFE Agency