Bucks Rally to Win Thrilling Game 4 109-103 and Tie NBA Finals
Khris Middleton scored a playoff career-high 40 points and helped lead a late rally for the Milwaukee Bucks in game 4 of the NBA Finals to survive a huge performance by Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker.
After his disappointing 10-point game in the Suns game 3 loss, Booker scored 20 points in the first half of game 4. However, he was the only Suns player with more than 10 points at the break. With the Bucks struggling to shoot early on, the two teams entered halftime tied at 52.
The Bucks started terribly in the third quarter, hitting only one of their first 10 shots. Meanwhile, Booker continued his hot stretch, scoring 10 of the team's first 13 points in the quarter. However, he picked up his fourth foul midway through the third, and Suns head coach Monty Williams took him out.
As soon as Booker went out, the Bucks went on a 10-4 run to take a 70-69 lead. Booker came back with three minutes left in the third and scored eight of the last 11 points in the quarter. He answered his 20-point first half with an 18-point third quarter where he hit all seven of his shot attempts to help give the Suns a 82-76 advantage going into the final frame.
Both teams battled in the fourth quarter, but Middleton and the Bucks went on a late 12-2 run to take the lead and close out a tightly contested game. Booker only scored four points in the quarter to finish with 42 points on the night. The rest of the Suns starters combined for only 38 points.
With 1:20 left to go and the Bucks holding a 101-99 lead, Giannis Antetokounmpo came up with one of the biggest blocks of this year's playoffs, stuffing a lob intended for Deandre Ayton.
Middleton did everything for the Bucks on offense late in the game, scoring 10 of the team's last 12 points. He finished with 24 points in the second half and 40 points total. The Bucks out-scored the Suns 33-21 in the fourth quarter.
Chris Paul had a rough performance for the Suns. He had 10 points on 5-13 shooting from the field, and he had five turnovers including one late that turned into a fast break lay-up for Middleton to stretch a close game to two possessions.
Antetokounmpo had another solid game for the Bucks, scoring 26 points with 14 rebounds and eight assists. Jrue Holiday struggled shooting from the field, hitting only four of his 20 shot attempts for 13 points, but he contributed seven rebounds and assists to go along with stout defense. Pat Connaughton added 11 points and nine rebounds but had a team-high +/- of +21 in 32 minutes.
Now that the series is tied, the two teams will travel back to Phoenix for a pivotal game 5 on Saturday, July 17. The Suns are 8-2 at home this postseason.