Bucks Got a Big Break After Trae Young Tweaked an Ankle
- The Milwaukee Bucks took a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 123-102 win over the Hawks in Game 3 on Sunday night.
- Khris Middleton scored a playoff career-high 38 points, including 20 in the 4th quarter to lead the Bucks.
- Trae Young suffered an ankle injury during the 4th quarter and will underdog MRI on Monday morning.
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-102 on Sunday night to take Game 3 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals .
With the victory, the Bucks are now up 2-1 in the series with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Giannis Antetokounpo had another statistically fantastic game. But once again, it wasn’t the former two-time MVP who closed out the show for the Bucks, who struggled until they got a break with Trae Young’s ankle injury in the 4th quarter.
Khris Middleton was on Fire
KHRIS MIDDLETON IS ON FIRE 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/xA0EfqqNRh
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 28, 2021
The score was tied 98-98 with just over five minutes left in the game when Khris Middleton caught fire for the Bucks. Middleton ended up scoring 20 of Milwaukee’s 30 4th quarter points and outscored the entire Atlanta team by three points all by himself in the final period.
He finished the game tying his playoff career high with 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists on 15-26 shooting, including 6-12 from behind the three point line. Middleton scored just a total of 30 points while shooting 12-36 from the field and 2-16 from deep in the first two games of the series.
This was just the second time in Bucks’ playoff history where a player had 30+points, 10+rebounds, 5+assists, and 5+ three-pointers made. The other one was also by Middleton. He is also the only player in the last 25 years in Bucks’ franchise history to score 20 points in a quarter of a playoff game. Middleton also had a 20-point playoff quarter during the 2020 playoffs.
Trae Tweaked an Ankle
Trae Young headed to the locker room after he appeared to step on a referee’s foot and tweaked his ankle. pic.twitter.com/b9PzpadMO9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2021
Trae Young was living up to his promise to be better after a poor Game 2 effort and had the Bucks on the seat of their pants before he inadvertently stepped on an official’s foot and tweaked his ankle. He left the court, returned to action but was never the same as he obviously played through the pain.
Young left for the locker the game with the Hawks still up 85-82 and seemingly having the momentum and control of a close game. When he came back with 8:44 left in the game, Atlanta was still ahead 88-93 thanks to Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, and Onyeka Okongwu. Young’s final basket of the game, a three-pointer, gave the Hawks their last lead at 98-96. Then Khris Middleton took over.
Middleton scored five straight points to give Milwaukee the 101-98 lead. Another 5-0 run by Middleton gave the Bucks a comfortable 107-100 lead with 3:08 left. He was not done. Middleton’s 19 footer gave the Bucks their first double-digit lead of the game at 112-102 win just 1:01 left in the game.
Young to Undergo MRI on Monday Morning
Trae Young on his ankle after his injury in Game 3
He’s set to have an MRI tomorrow morning https://t.co/Wir3FS92Kipic.twitter.com/JqPYdfMY7F
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) June 28, 2021
After the game, Young told reporters that his ankle is sore and hurting. He promised to play in Game 4 but will still undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Remember that Kawhi Leonard said he would be fine and has not played since. Sure, those are two different injuries but we’ve seen too many teams lose their key players to unfortunate injuries this season.
Despite the loss, the Bucks have not really gotten an edge over the Hawks. All they did in Game 3 was to reclaim the home court advantage they lost in Game 1. As for Atlanta, they are merely following the script of their second round series against the Sixers. Remember the Hawks beat the Sixers in seven games. But then again if Trae Young is compromised, that’s another story.
The best NBA betting sites have taken down their series odds for the Bucks vs Clippers series as well as the Championship odds. That’s because until we know Trae Young’s status for Game 4 and the rest of the series, there’s no way of handicapping what happens the rest of the way. That makes tomorrow’s appointment with the doctor the most important one for the Hawks’ season.