The Milwaukee Bucks narrowly avoided a series sweep against the Miami Heat on Sunday, winning 118-115 in overtime to push the series to a Game 5 on Tuesday night. The five-seed Heat still owns a 3-1 lead over the one-seed Bucks in the seven-game Eastern Conference playoff series.
Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST inside ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The contest will be aired nationally on TNT. Oddsmakers predict this series will end on Tuesday, with the Heat a -3 point favorite.
What to Know – Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have done everything right in this series, building a 3-0 advantage and taking an 8-point lead into the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game. Miami has been unbeatable in the playoffs until the weekend, sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the opening series before building a 3-game lead in the semis.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat, scoring 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the floor. Adebayo added 12 rebounds and eight assists. Duncan Robinson chipped in 20 points, and Jae Crowder added 18, each player hitting six three-point field goals. Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic rounded out the starters with 17 points apiece.
Miami ended Game 4, shooting 44.4 percent (40-for-90) from the floor, including 36.2 percent (17-for-47) from beyond the arc. The Heat added a 90 percent (18-for-20) mark from the free-throw line and compiled 33 assists to 15 turnovers.
What to Know – Milwaukee Bucks
The biggest news out of Sunday’s game outside of the win is the health status of All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s right ankle. The star exited Game 5 early in the second quarter after rolling his ankle similarly to what he did in Game 3. Antetokounmpo will undergo treatment Sunday night and Monday before a decision is made regarding his availability for Game 5.
Khris Middleton stepped up for the Bucks to lead all scorers with 36 points over a season-high 48 minutes of play. Middleton was 12-for-28 from the floor and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Antetokounmpo scored 19 (8-for-10) of the Bucks 30 points, all in the first 11 minutes of the game before exiting.
Milwaukee shot 48.9 percent (45-for-92) from the floor and 31.4 percent (11-for-35) from the 3-point line. The Bucks hauled in 46 rebounds and dished 25 assists to 12 turnovers.
The Bucks avoided becoming the first 1-seed to get swept from the playoffs since 2001 when the Los Angeles Lakers sent the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs home in the Western Conference finals.
The Pick is In
The status of Antetokounmpo has a profound effect on the potential outcome of this game, but the Bucks were able to navigate and hold off the Heat over about three-quarters of play without the star. It would be hard-pressed to believe that the Bucks could do it again over four quarters with the Heat game planning for his absence.
Milwaukee will fight regardless, but if Giannis cannot play on Tuesday, we like the Heat -3 to move on to the Eastern Conference finals.