Bucks return to Suns thanks to Khris Middleton
Milwaukee Bucks – Phoenix Suns: 109-103
The two teams are tied 2-2
Be careful, the dynamics of these NBA 2021 finals have clearly changed sides. We could already feel it after the Bucks’ victory over the Suns in Match 3, but Milwaukee’s new success in Match 4 (109-103) on Wednesday night confirmed this new momentum. However, it did not play much on this disputed and tight part throughout, the first in the series to end under the ten points difference. Phoenix was in control for much of the second half, thanks largely to a gigantic Devin Booker in his personification of Kobe Bryant.
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Chris Paul and Devin Booker in NBA Finals Game 1 between Phoenix and Milwaukee, July 6, 2021
Credit: Getty Images
The young Suns fullback, who also played with a pair of Black Mamba on his feet, scored 42 points including several very difficult baskets at mid-distance – in extension, with one or two defenders on him – to bring his franchise closer to his first title. But it was his little mistakes in defense, the ones that caused him to make mistakes, that ultimately cost the Arizona team dearly. Author of his fifth, Booker was forced to join the bench to start the last decisive quarter.
Middleton woke up
That’s when the tide turned in the Bucks’ favor. Already well in contact, they ended up climbing a handicap of 9 points to win the victory in front of their public, once again excited and very noisy. And they can thank Khris Middleton. The All-Star full-back has finally woken up after two very muddled first outings. If he still missed a lot (15 out of 33), a bit like his entire training (40% on shots, 24% on three-pointers), the other centerpiece of Milwaukee has sublimated in the last two minutes. With just 10 points in a row! Middleton equalized (99-99) before planting the shot halfway to pass. He followed up with a layup and then four free throws to close the deal. Royal.
Devin Booker tried to bring his own to the end. Returning to the field, he should have gotten his sixth foul – synonymous with expulsion – but the referees did not whistle despite an obvious contact on Jrue Holiday, who rose to the basket, just over 3 minutes from the buzzer. In the end, the young man was rather isolated … abandoned by a Chris Paul inside. Tired, muzzled by the opposing defense, the veteran missed his match. He scored just 10 points while delivering 7 assists. Below its standards. But even worse, he lost 5 balls including several during the most crucial possessions of the game! Including one that led to Middleton’s counterattack for an easy layup (103-99) 27 seconds from the buzzer. Terrible.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) vs. Phoenix Suns / 2021 NBA Finals
Credit: Getty Images
In the middle of it all, there was still an excellent Giannis Antetokounmpo. 26 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks for the MVP. Including an absolutely monumental counter on Deandre Ayton in the last moments of this Match 4. He did not make the most important baskets. But in attitude, effort and play, the Greek has been the ideal leader for the Bucks. The leader of a revolt that could well extend during Match 5, which will obviously be decisive in the rest of these finals. The Bucks came back to 2-2. They have yet to gain the upper hand over the Suns. But they certainly resumed psychological ascendancy on Wednesday night.
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NBA Finals: Khris Middleton decisive, the Milwaukee Bucks resist a great Devin Booker and equalize!