Younger Hawks attempt to regroup at dwelling in Sport 3 in opposition to Bucks

Young Hawks try to regroup at home in Game 3 against Bucks

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks’ path to the Japanese Convention finals supplies cause to stay optimistic after a humbling Sport 2 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks evened the sequence at 1-1.

The Bucks can also depend on their postseason historical past to spice up their perception of their championship hopes. That is Milwaukee’s second convention finals look in three years, following a loss to Toronto in 2019. This talent-rich roster led by Giannis Antetokounmpo was extensively anticipated to contend for a title this season.

Due to Friday evening’s resounding 125-91 win in Sport 2, the Bucks take momentum into Sunday evening’s Sport 3 in Atlanta.

“On the finish of the day, , there’s obtained to be some urgency, however you continue to must take pleasure in the truth that we’re right here, , as a result of we labored extraordinarily arduous to be within the final 4 groups standing,” Antetokounmpo stated after main the Bucks with 25 factors.

“However , now occurring the highway clearly there may be going to be some urgency.“

That is solely the Hawks’ second convention finals look of their Atlanta historical past. They have been swept by Cleveland in 2015.

The Hawks, the No. 5 seed, have already got surpassed expectations. They completed final of their Southeast Division and missed the playoffs every of the final three years earlier than all of a sudden studying to win underneath interim coach Nate McMillan this season.

Atlanta has been an underdog in every playoff spherical. When going through the New York Knicks within the first spherical and the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers within the convention semifinals, the Hawks received their sequence opener on the highway earlier than dropping the second recreation. They’ve adopted the identical path in opposition to Milwaukee.

The Hawks’ staggering Sport 2 loss was a reminder they’re beginning three gamers — Trae Younger, John Collins and Kevin Huerter — who’re of their first postseason.

The Bucks by no means trailed and led by 41 factors.

Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Younger loks to get previous Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the course of the second half of Sport 2 of the NBA Japanese Convention basketball finals recreation Friday, June 25, 2021, in Milwaukee.

The young Hawks have proved they’ll win shut playoff video games. They’re 4-0 in video games determined by not more than three factors and 6-1 when the margin is not more than seven. Now they have to display they’re resilient.

“We’ve simply obtained to up our degree of competitors, of depth,” Collins stated. “I really feel like that is a part of us rising into the mature gamers that may deal with a championship run, as that is our first. And to not make any excuse, however these are the kind of issues that occur. It’s on us to enhance and make changes.”

TRAE’S SWAG

Younger might be challenged to reclaim the swagger he displayed when he scored 48 factors in Atlanta’s 116-113 Game 1 win on Wednesday evening. He had an early spotlight in Sport 2 when his steal and lengthy jumper minimize Milwaukee’s result in 15-12. He celebrated by shaking his shoulders with a shimmy he unveiled within the opening recreation.

It was a uncommon spotlight on an evening of struggles for Younger. He had solely 15 factors and matched his profession excessive with 9 turnovers. He accepted duty for the loss.

“It was simply a type of nights, and generally it occurs like that,” Younger stated. “It sucks it occurred tonight, however we’ve obtained to have the ability to bounce again.”

RULING THE PAINT

The three-point shot is a crucial a part of Milwaukee’s assault, however the Bucks proved they thrive when driving to the basket. The Bucks might be anticipated to attempt to repeat that profitable components on Sunday evening.

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Led by Antetokounmpo, the Bucks outscored the Hawks 62-30 within the paint. It was the recipe for the two-time MVP to make 11 of 18 photographs from the sector whereas including a game-high 9 rebounds. He was dominant regardless of lacking his three 3-pointers.

“I believe he set a tone early,” stated Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. “There have been a pair drives and finishes that have been type of simply what we anticipate from Giannis.”

FREE AND CLEAR

McMillan might be watching to verify officers proceed to observe Antetokounmpo’s time at the free-throw line after the NBA stated 10-second violations ought to have been referred to as late in Sport 1. Antetokounmpo made three of 4 free throws in Sport 2 and insisted he did nothing to shorten his routine on the line.

“My mindset going into this recreation was undergo my routine, get as many dribbles as I can, get my breath and simply shoot my shot,” he stated.

REDDISH RETURNS

Maybe essentially the most encouraging signal for the Hawks within the sequence was the return of Cam Reddish from an Achilles damage. He scored 11 factors in 17 minutes in his first look since Feb. 21.

“To be sincere, that was the one optimistic factor tonight,” Younger stated.

Reddish offers Atlanta extra perimeter depth as Bogdan Bogdanovic is limited by proper knee soreness.

“It felt good,” Reddish stated. “I used to be excited to get again on the market. Clearly it felt just a little bit bizarre at first, however as the sport went on, obtained higher, obtained extra comfy. I’m wanting ahead to getting on to the subsequent recreation.”

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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