NBA Finals 2021

NBA Finals 2021: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton lean on familiarity to close out Suns in Game 4

In Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks were a few minutes away from going down 3-1.

Phoenix had led for the majority of the game and courtesy of Devin Booker, they had a response for every Milwaukee run in the second half. However, the final minutes of the fourth quarter were a different story.

Led by their All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the Bucks closed out Game 4 on a 19-8 run to win 109-103. The duo scored or assisted on all but four of the 19 points in the game-clinching run as they helped the Bucks win after being down 95-90 with just under six minutes to play.

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"Feels good. Feels good. We've done this a lot of times," Antetokounmpo said postgame about closing out Game 4 with Middleton.

"There's times that going down the stretch, I've got to trust and he's got to trust me. As I said, we've closed so many games. We've lost a lot of games, but closing a game like this in the NBA Finals, obviously, it means a lot."

Antetokounmpo and Middleton have been teammates since the 2013-14 season, experiencing all of the Bucks' success and failures together.

The growth and development of their games from non-lottery picks to All-Stars and MVPs has been a huge reason behind the Bucks' success in recent years with their 2021 postseason being their fifth straight, a run that also included a Conference Finals appearance in 2019.

Probably nobody knows the significance of the duo and their relationship than head coach Mike Budenholzer.

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"To see the conversations or the engagement between those two, and Giannis talking about what we wanted to do offensively, and a lot of it comes down to just getting Khris into a good spot and him being unselfish and then Khris delivering. But a lot of reps, a lot of experiences together. We need that going forward."

At the final buzzer of Game 4, Middleton had scored a playoff career-high 40, including 14 in the final quarter while Giannis Antetokounmpo stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks.

"It comes down to trust. That guy right there (in the room), Jrue. I trust Khris," Antetokounmpo shared.

"I know they are going to make the right play and I know they are going to deliver the ball when I'm open. But what he did tonight was incredible. We need him to keep doing it. We are within reach of our goals."

With the Game 4 win, the Bucks have made the 2021 Finals a best-of-three as the series shifts back to Phoenix for Game 5, which tips-off after a couple of days off.

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