2021 Playoffs: East Final | Bucks (3) vs. Hawks (5)
Tune-In Tidbits: Eastern Conference Finals, Game 6
Get ready for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight on TNT with five key stats to know about the Bucks-Hawks matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
• With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined (knee hyperextension), the Bucks turned to Brook Lopez in Game 5 to provide the interior scoring that is normally contributed by the two-time Kia MVP. Lopez scored 26 of his playoff career-high 33 points in the paint as the Bucks finished with a 30-point advantage (66-36). Lopez’s 26 points in the paint are the most he’s had in a playoff game and tied for the third-highest total of his career (30, Feb. 23, 2016 – BKN @ POR; 28, Feb. 28, 2012 – NJN @ DAL).
• The Bucks also got a huge contribution from Bobby Portis, who made his first career playoff start in place of Antetokounmpo, and scored a playoff career-high 22 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Portis was also the primary defender on John Collins for 4:45 (38.1% of Collins’ offensive matchup time) and held him to three points (15.8% of his points) on 1-for-4 shooting.
• Playoff highs weren’t limited to the Bucks as Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28 points on 10-for-22 FG, 7-for-16 3P in his best game of the series. Bogdanovic now has back-to-back 20-point games after he had scored in single-digits for the previous six games — the final three games vs. Philadelphia and first three vs. Milwaukee — as he’s been limited with knee soreness. His 13-for-30 (43.3%) shooting from beyond the arc is encouraging for the Hawks as they play to keep their season alive.
• After a back-and-forth affair in Game 1 that saw 13 lead changes and seven ties, three of the past four games (Games 2, 4 and 5) have featured no lead changes, and there have been a total of seven ties and seven lead changes over the past four games combined. All of which emphasizes the need to get off to a strong start. The Bucks are plus-15 in the first quarter over the first five games of the series, and lead the playoffs with an average lead of 4.1 points following the first 12 minutes of play.
• In the history of the NBA Playoffs, teams that win Game 5 of a best-of-seven series tied at 2-2, go on to win the series 81.1% of the time (179-39). There have been six instances in this year’s playoffs with a series tied at 2-2, with the winner of Game 5 winning the series four of the six times. The Hawks followed the trend in the Conference Semifinals against Philadelphia, as they won Game 5 and won the series in seven games. The Bucks bucked the trend in the Conference Semifinals against Brooklyn, as they lost Game 5, but rallied to win the next two games, including Game 7 on the road.