After getting off to an ideal 2-0 start in the 2021 NBA Finals, the Phoenix Suns hit the road for the first time last week in the championship series. Knowing they needed a win to avoid having their backs against the wall, the Milwaukee Bucks needed to take advantage of having the home court and get on the board with a victory.
They did just that in Game 3. Although they picked up their first win last week, the Bucks were in a similar situation in Game 4. If they lost, they'd be facing elimination heading into Phoenix this weekend. With a win, they could share the driver's seat of the series as they would tie it up at two.
Milwaukee started off a bit slow on the offensive end on Wednesday night. Draining just 32-percent of their shots from the field, the Bucks collected 20 points in the first quarter of action. While the Suns didn't take full advantage of the Bucks' struggles as they took four fewer shots, they still finished the first quarter with a three-point lead.
After a rough first quarter, Milwaukee picked up the slack before halftime. Improving their overall field goal percentage to 52-percent in the second quarter, the Bucks outscored the Suns 32-29, spoiling Devin Booker's 12-point quarter and tying the game up at 52 at the half.
When the second half rolled around, the tide started to turn. Booker, who collected 20 points in the first half, had a monster third quarter. Shooting a perfect 7-7 from the field and knocking down four of his five free throws, the star guard put up 18 points in under ten minutes of action in the third quarter alone.
Although the Bucks were outscored by six points coming out of the half, the veteran guard Khris Middleton kept Milwaukee alive as he put up 10 points for the Bucks, going into the final quarter with 26.
Milwaukee needed a big final quarter on both ends, and they got it. Middleton, who led the charge for the Bucks all throughout the night, continued to dominate offensively. As he knocked down five of his nine shots from the field and went a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe, the Bucks standout picked up 14 fourth-quarter points.
Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo came up big in crunch time on the defensive end as he blocked two shots and snagged two steals. Holding Phoenix to just 21 points, their lowest scoring total in the entire game in the final 12 minutes of action, the Bucks managed to come out on top with a 109-103 victory.
Khris Middleton finished the night with a team-high of 40 points in 43 minutes of action, spoiling Devin Booker's game-high 42-point outing. With that win, the Bucks will head back to Phoenix for Game 5 with the series tied up at two.