The Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks were each without their best player in Thursday night’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals; Giannis Antetokounmpo was out with a left knee hyperextension, and Trae Young was out with a bone bruise in his right foot. And it was the Bucks that had players *really* step up with their superstar out.
Four Milwaukee starters scored at least 22 points and combined for 106 points in a 123-112 win to take a 3-2 series lead.
Brook Lopez had 33 points, Khris Middleton had 26 points (continuing his great play), and Jrue Holiday had 25 points.
Lopez, 33, turned back the clock with a season-high 33 points, while shooting an extremely efficient 14-of-18 from the field. He also blocked four shots.
Portis provided a huge spark in his first career playoff start and had Fiserv Forum rockin’.
BOBBY PORTIS WANTS THIS 🗣 pic.twitter.com/wQSObi7Py2
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2021
With the Hawks facing a win-or-go-home situation in Game 6, Young will surely do everything to be out there. He did at least go through pregame activities before Game 5.
The Bucks will likely be more cautious with Giannis, especially with a Game 7 home game in their back pocket should Hawks take Game 6 in Atlanta- and after seeing what their other players are capable of stepping up and doing with Giannis out.
Milwaukee is one win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1974.