Fourth-quarter woes cost Hawks in Game 3

Milwaukee Bucks forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) and Khris Middleton celebrate the 113-102 win over the Hawks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

caption arrowCaption
Milwaukee Bucks forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) and Khris Middleton celebrate the 113-102 win over the Hawks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

It all came crashing down in the fourth quarter for the Hawks. The Bucks won a come-from-behind victory, 113-102, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Here’s a look at the game.

The decisive run

The Hawks led 95-88 with 7:32 remaining. They would score just seven points the rest of the way. The Bucks ended the game on a 25-7 run to finish off the Hawks. Khris Middleton had 38 points for the Bucks, 20 in the fourth quarter. The Bucks outscored the Hawks 30-17 in the final period.

On Middleton

In addition to his 38 points, Middleton had 11 rebounds and seven assists. “He’s a winner,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “From the day I’ve been around him, he does nothing but win. He does all the little things. He’s quiet but he’s voice is loud in our locker room. His voice is loud in our timeouts. He’s one of those guys who is very smooth and can score.”

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Fast start

It was just the way the Hawks wanted to start the game. They forced turnovers on the Bucks’ first three possessions. The Bucks started 1 of 6 from the field. Giannis Antetokounmpo picked up two quick fouls. It all led to a 15-2 Hawks lead just four minutes into the game. The Hawks led by as many as 15 points in the first quarter. That advantage was down to five by the end of the opening period, 32-27. It was gone by the end of the second quarter as the score was 56-56 at intermission.

From the outside

The Hawks had a good start from 3-point range, making 10 of 22 attempts in the first half. Trae Young made three of them, two near the Hawks’ logo at half court. They finished 15 of 37. The Bucks struggled from long range, much as they have this series. They made 3 of 14 attempts in the first half and finished 11 of 29. The Bucks are a combined 34 of 106 through three games, with seven of those coming in the first quarter of Game 2′s blowout win and eight in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

Fast breaks

  • The Hawks entered Game 3 with a record of 22-4 in their last 26 home games, a stretch that dates back to Feb. 21. They now stand at 22-5.
  • The Bucks’ 34-point win in Game 2 was tied for its fourth-largest win in franchise playoff history and was just the sixth playoff win by 30+ points. They also had a 34-point win against the Heat in the first round.
caption arrowCaption
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo intercepts the pass to Hawks forward John Collins and draws the foul during the final two minutes of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The Bucks won 113-102 to claim a 2-1 series lead. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo intercepts the pass to Hawks forward John Collins and draws the foul during the final two minutes of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The Bucks won 113-102 to claim a 2-1 series lead. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

caption arrowCaption
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo intercepts the pass to Hawks forward John Collins and draws the foul during the final two minutes of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The Bucks won 113-102 to claim a 2-1 series lead. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

In the building

There were a couple of well-known athletes with Atlanta ties in State Farm Arena. Atlanta natives Dwight Howard, who the Hawks eliminated as a member of the 76ers in the semifinal, and Cam Newton, the Patriots quarterback were there. Also spotted was former Falcons wide receiver Roddy White and boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Injury report

Bogdan Bogdanovic remained on the Hawks injury list as questionable with right knee soreness. He had been listed the same for Games 1 and 2 and started each. He was in the starting lineup again for Game 3 and finished with eight points in 35 minutes. He was 3 of 16 from the field, including 2 of 10 from 3-point range. De’Andre Hunter (right meniscus surgery) and Brandon Goodwin (minor respiratory condition) were out. Nathan Knight, who left Game 2 after a hard fall, was not listed on the Hawks report. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo was listed as probable with left calf soreness.

Hawks-Bucks series

Game 1: Hawks 116, Bucks 113

Game 2: Bucks 125, Hawks 91

Game 3: Bucks 113, Hawks 102

Game 4, Tuesday, June 29: Bucks at Hawks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 5, Thursday, July 1: Hawks at Bucks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 6*, Saturday, July 3: Bucks at Hawks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

Game 7*, Monday, July 5: Hawks at Bucks, 8:30 p.m., TNT

* — If necessary

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