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News ID: 92039
Publish Date : 04 July 2021 - 22:17
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WASHINGTON (AFP) - Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton dribbles the ball up court against Cam Reddish of the Atlanta Hawks during a series clinching 118-107 win
Khris Middleton poured in 32 points to power the Milwaukee Bucks into their first NBA Finals in over 45 years on Saturday with a series-clinching 118-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The third-seeded Bucks beat the host Hawks in the best-of-seven series 4-2 to book their first appearance in the league championship since 1974.
“As a little kid, everybody wanted to be part of this chance to go to the finals. This is amazing,” said Bucks guard Jrue Holiday.
Milwaukee will face the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns in the finals which begin on Tuesday.
The Bucks earned the Eastern Conference championship trophy, celebrating with it on the floor at the Hawks’ State Farm Arena.
The Bucks won despite the absence of two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who sat out with an injured left knee. The 26-year-old Greek forward hyperextended the joint when he landed awkwardly in game four of the series.
The Hawks got their top player Trae Young back after he missed the previous two games with a bruised foot. But Young struggled to score in game six, shooting just four-of-17, missing all six of his three-point attempts and finishing with just 14 points.
Young said he wasn’t fully recovered from the injury but decided to try his luck.
Holiday stepped up for the second straight game to help fill the offensive void with Antetokounmpo out, flirting with a triple double and finishing with 27 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists.
Brook Lopez, who was the star of Thursday’s game five win with 33 points, delivered 13 points on Saturday for the Bucks.

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