For the first time since 1974, the Milwaukee Bucks are heading back to the NBA Finals.
The Bucks defeated the Atlanta Hawks 118-107 on Saturday to win the Eastern Conference finals in six games, despite missing Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) for the last two-and-a-half games.
With Antetokounmpo being out, Khris Middleton stepped it up to help close out the series. Middleton went off for 31 points on 10-of-22 shooting (4-of-10 from deep), seven assists, four rebounds, and three steals with 23 of those points coming in an incredible third quarter.
“It’s been a long journey,” Middleton said. “But it’s been a great journey. It’s been worth it. After winning 15 games in our first year here and seven years not making the playoffs, to the last two years thinking we had a chance and just didn’t do enough and now we’re here. This is what we’ve worked for.”
Now the Bucks can turn their attention on to the Phoenix Suns. The Suns dominated the Western Conference throughout the playoffs and will have a home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.
Game one of the NBA Finals will be on Tuesday night.