Hawks fade in final minutes of Game 3; trail 2-1 in series

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo slams over Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams during the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

caption arrowCaption
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo slams over Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams during the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Khris Middleton came alive in the fourth quarter, carrying the No. 3 seed Bucks to a 113-102 win over the No. 5 seed Hawks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday at State Farm Arena.

ExploreMark Bradley: Game 3 was a misstep for Hawks

The Bucks take a 2-1 lead in the series. Next up, Game 4 will be at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Atlanta.

Attempting to rebound from a blowout loss in Game 2, the Hawks led by as many as 15 points in the first quarter but entered the fourth quarter up two. They worked up to a seven-point advantage after some impressive minutes by rookie Onyeka Okongwu, but the Bucks kept coming, taking a 107-100 lead with 3:38 to play after Middleton put up 15 points in about four minutes.

Middleton caught fire, scoring 20 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter, and the Hawks’ shooting went cold (held to 17 points in the fourth), so they couldn’t climb back in it.

Trae Young briefly left the game late in the third quarter after coming down wrong on his right ankle, taking a step back and landing on an official’s foot. He was able to return and led the Hawks in scoring with 35 points, with four assists, but didn’t look full-force. His status moving forward in the series is unclear.

“He tweaked his ankle and, of course, we had to go with some other options,” Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said. “... I thought we got some open looks in the fourth quarter; didn’t knock down those shots. They did a good job of making us pay when we didn’t get a basket in that fourth quarter. Middleton seemed like he was hitting everything. Giannis (Antetokounmpo) did a good job of keeping that momentum for those guys. Then when they missed, they got a couple offensive rebounds that were big.”

caption arrowCaption
Hawks guard Trae Young is tended to on the floor with a possible ankle injury during the third quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Hawks guard Trae Young is tended to on the floor with a possible ankle injury during the third quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

caption arrowCaption
Hawks guard Trae Young is tended to on the floor with a possible ankle injury during the third quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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

About the Author

Editors' Picks