Giannis-less Bucks roll over Hawks to take 3-2 series lead | Inquirer Sports
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Giannis-less Bucks roll over Hawks to take 3-2 series lead

/ 11:35 AM July 02, 2021
Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against the Atlanta Hawks during the first quarter in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 01, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Patrick McDermott / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against the Atlanta Hawks during the first quarter in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 01, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES  – The Milwaukee Bucks showed they are more than a one-man show, using a balanced attack on Thursday to beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-112 in game five of the Eastern Conference finals.

Brook Lopez had 33 points, Jrue Holiday had 25 points and 13 assists and Khris Middleton finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who grabbed a 3-2 series lead and are one win away reaching the NBA finals for the first time since 1974.

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Milwaukee won despite playing without two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is out with an injured knee. Antetokounmpo watched the game from the sidelines, standing with his teammates almost the entire game.

In his absence, four Bucks starters scored more than 20 points.

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“We came out tonight and just did our best to dominate at both ends of the floor,” said Lopez. “We did a great job of playing together. When everyone is scoring and everyone is doing their thing it is tough on their defence.”

Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks is defended by Bryn Forbes #7 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 01, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Stacy Revere / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Kevin Huerter of the Atlanta Hawks is defended by Bryn Forbes of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at Fiserv Forum on July 01, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   (Getty Images via AFP)

The best-of-seven series now switches back to Atlanta for game six on Saturday. The winner of the series will face the Phoenix Suns, who eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday to reach the finals for the first time in 28 years.

Role players and reserves were forced to step into the limelight Thursday as both clubs were missing their top scorers.

Antetokounmpo injured his knee in a loss in game four, and Hawks star Trae Young sat out his second straight game after he suffered a bone bruise in his right foot in game three.

Trae Young Hawks Bucks

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks holds his ankle after an injury during the second half in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks at State Farm Arena on June 27, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.   (Getty Images via AFP)

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 28 points for the Hawks in the road loss.

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks is injured against Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is injured against Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals at State Farm Arena on June 29, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Getty Images via AFP)

Milwaukee improved to 7-1 at home in the playoffs. They were 6-5 without Antetokounmpo in the lineup during the regular season, and 40-21 with him.

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TAGS: Atlanta Hawks, Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA
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