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Boeder: Giannis and Middleton Take Game 4
Giannis played like the MVP, which he is, Middleton played like an All-NBA player, which he is, and the Bucks won, which they did more than anyone this season. In those ways, this game was back to normal for the Bucks, except as you know it was not normal.
19. Giannis scored 19 points in… 11 minutes. He did not have the look of a guy who was going to score 50 if this was going to be the last game of his season. He had the look of a guy who was going to score 50 and this was not going to be the last game of his season. Giannis glided to the rim for an easy two to start the game, and he got whatever he wanted from there, until he could not play anymore, which, sadly, was after 11 incandescent minutes.
8–10. Giannis missed two shots. One was a dunk. One was a lay-in that ambled across the rim. He then grabbed his own rebound and just about ripped off the rim. For as well as the Heat have defended Giannis in the series, it was clear that they had nothing for him today.
21. Middleton set a new franchise record with 21 points in the third quarter. The Heat kept pace, scoring 40 in the quarter themselves (on a rather outrageous 12 assists). If Middleton had not gone nuts, the Bucks likely would have entered the fourth quarter down by quite a few more than three.
8. Middleton was a touch busy scoring in the third quarter, so he only had one assist, but his one assist stood out as his most memorable play of the quarter to me, a one-handed cross-court whip to Matthews for a three that brought the Bucks to within a point 71–70. And overall in the game, no one on either team had more assists than Middleton (8).
8. Middleton is a tough-shot maker, to say the least. He did not make a shot inside 8 feet all game.
9–8. His third quarter will rightfully get most of the attention, but Middleton also outscored the entire Heat team, 9–8, in overtime.
47:59. Including overtime, Middleton played just shy of a full 48. Needed just about every second of his brilliance.
26. DiVincenzo meanwhile played a playoff-high 26 minutes, including almost the entire overtime, in his best game of the playoffs so far. He found the right places to be, including with a game-high three loose balls recovered, and generally looked up for the moment while going to the hoop at the end of regulation. If the Bucks are going to make a run the rest of this series, have to feel that Donte is going to be a significant part of it.
54–38. Even with Giannis only playing 11 minutes, the Bucks won the points in the paint battle by a comfortable margin. Then again, Giannis did his part in those 11 minutes, as no one on either team surpassed his 14 points in the paint.
2. Brook made 2–5 from deep, including a big one late to put the Bucks up 104–100 in regulation. Notably, both of his three were from the corner. His favorite new spot continues to be the right corner, where he attempted four.