Bucks edged by Bulls for a series tie | News, Sports, Jobs

AP Photo Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks attempts to pass Patrick Williams of the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of their first NBA playoff basketball game Wednesday in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — DeMar DeRozan made sure the Chicago Bulls turned around their painful recent history against the Milwaukee Bucks and gave this first-round streak a fresh start.

Now it’s the defending champion Bucks who suddenly hurt as the teams head to Chicago, all tied together.

DeRozan scored a playoff career-high 41 points and the Bulls outlasted the Bucks 114-110 Wednesday night in Game 2. Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Zach LaVine had 20 points as the Bulls, seeded sixth, beat third. seeded the Bucks for only the second time in their last 19 meetings.

“No matter what you did in the regular season, it’s a whole new start and a new mindset,” said DeRozan. “You could see it in all the guys. It didn’t matter if we had lost 20 times to those guys. It’s an opportunity for us to be competitive. You should take advantage. »

The big question now is what shape the Bucks will be in when this series resumes on Friday.

Bobby Portis left the game with an abrasion to his eye after the first quarter and Khris Middleton was out with 6:49 left after his left leg gave way as he tried to plant on the move.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game that Middleton had a medial collateral ligament sprain and would undergo an MRI on Thursday.

“He’s always been positive and he knows the kind of team we are and how resilient we are,” said Bucks guard Jrue Holiday. “We just want him back as soon as possible and healthy so he can come here and help us win games.”

Budenholzer said that Portis “it should be fine with a little time.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, giving him an assist for his second career playoff triple-double. Antetokounmpo increased his playoff point total to 1,715 to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,692) for the most in Bucks history.

Brook Lopez had 25 points for the Bucks. Middleton scored 18 and Holiday 15.

DeRozan scored eight points on a 13-0 run that started late in the third quarter and gave the Bulls a 96-80 lead with 9:47 remaining. The Bulls still led by 15 before Milwaukee rallied in the final 7 1/2 minutes.

Lopez converted a three-point play to cut Chicago’s lead to 112-109 with 56 seconds left.

“We expected these guys to make a run,” Vucevic said. “They are a championship team for a reason. They’ve been there before, so we expected them to run.

But after Alex Caruso and Vucevic got offensive rebounds on the Bulls’ subsequent possession, DeRozan’s driving layup made it 114-109 with 18.2 seconds left.

Chicago rebounded from a 93-86 Game 1 loss and continued to show the grit that was missing late in the regular season, especially when the Bulls were up against top teams.

The Bulls have lost 15 of their last 22 regular season games. During the regular season, the Bulls went just 2-21 against the top four seeds in each conference.

“I think playing some of these top teams at the end of the year maybe kind of toughened us up, helped us grow,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “It helped us improve. It helped us have that kind of mentality that we have to move on to the next game. I think at times this year when we played against good teams, when it started to go the other way a bit, we didn’t have enough in us to turn it our way.

Chicago closed the second quarter on a 15-4 run to take a 65-4 halftime advantage.

The Bulls extended the lead to 18 early in the third quarter, before the Bucks rallied with a small lineup including Antetokounmpo, Middleton and reserve guards Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton and Jevon Carter.

Milwaukee surged 15-2 to cut the Bulls’ lead to three at the end of the third period. But the Bulls responded with 13 straight points and stayed ahead of the path reset.

“We had a good run, but in the last minute of the third quarter I thought we could have been better, and then coming out of the fourth quarter another big swing,” said Budenholzer. “We dug ourselves big holes.”


Bulls: After hitting a season low of 32.3% and going 7 of 37 from 3-point range in a 93-86 Game 1 loss, the Bulls shot 49.4% and went 12 on 25 beyond the arc Wednesday. DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic shot a combined 21 of 71 and 4 of 22 from 3-point range in Game 1. They were combined 33 of 62 overall and 7 of 14 on 3-point attempts in Game 2. … Caruso had 10 assists to go along with nine points. … Patrick Williams had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Bucks: George Hill missed a third straight game with abdominal strain. Budenholzer said before Game 2 that Hill was not expected in the short term and that the team would monitor the 35-year-old guard’s progress in the next game. “a few days or more” … The Bucks had 15 turnovers to bring their streak total to 36.

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