NBA: Bucks avoid elimination, top Heat in OT without Giannis


Posted at Sep 07 2020 06:35 AM | Updated as of Sep 07 2020 07:14 AM

Khris Middleton scored a playoff career-high 36 points, including 9 in overtime, as the Milwaukee Bucks -- minus Giannis Antetokounmpo the entire second half -- beat the Miami Heat 118-115 Sunday (US time) to keep their season alive.

Antetokounmpo left Game 4 in the second quarter because of an apparent ankle sprain.

Facing scrutiny down 0-3 and already without projected regular-season MVP Antetokounmpo, the odds were stacked against Milwaukee surviving a Miami team that had had its way against the Eastern Conference top seed in their semifinal duel.

But the Bucks fought gallantly in their newfound underdog's role. 

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In overtime, Middleton scored Milwaukee's first 4 points then hit a 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left to give the Bucks a 116-112 lead, a response to a Tyler Herro triple in the prior possession that made it a 1-point game. 

After Herro drilled another trey and Miami was forced to foul to stop the clock, Middleton made 2 free throws, even as Miami had one more chance to extend the game further with 2.2 seconds remaining. 

But Andre Iguodala's pass was picked by Wesley Matthews, and Milwaukee secured the win. 

Eric Bledsoe contributed 14 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, while Middleton also had an all-around game with 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the Bucks. 

Antetokounmpo tallied 19 points in 11 minutes before heading to the locker room for good.

Milwaukee had a chance to seal victory in regulation, but Donte DiVincenzo settled for a split at the line with 1.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter, tying the score at 107.

Bam Adebayo finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, and Duncan Robinson added 20 points and 6 3-pointers for the Heat. 

Jimmy Butler, Miami's hero in the Heat's first 3 games of this series, scored 17 points.