Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs 2021: Khris Middleton's takeover sparks game-clinching run for Bucks in Game 3 road victory

The Bucks re-take home-court advantage with an eventually comfortable 113-102 Game 3 win.

After trailing by as many as 15 in the first quarter, Milwaukee battled back but could never take over. Then, Khris Middleton arrived and helped them run away with the game.

Along with Giannis Antetokounmpo (33 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals), he combined for 71 points to help the Bucks overcome Trae Young's 35-point night.

However, this game could have been a different story had Young not tweaked his ankle on an official's foot. Since his tweak, the Hawks were outscored 31-17.

That said, here's a quick look at the major takeaways from the game:

Middleton's late-game takeover

With 7:32 left, the Hawks led 95-88 but everything after that was the Middleton and the Bucks show.

For the rest of the game clock, Milwaukee went on a 25-7 run which included 17 from Middleton. He finished with 20 for the quarter, outscoring the Hawks tally by three.

The Bucks were waiting on Middleton to arrive in the series after he struggled to knock down shots in Games 1 and 2 - 12-of-36 from the field (33.3%) and 2-of-16 from 3-point range (12.5%).

Whereas in Game 3, the 6-foot-7 wing shot 15-of-26 from the field (57.7%) and 6-of-12 (50.0%) from beyond the arc. He was red-hot during his fourth-quarter scoring burst, just take a look at his shot chart:

Trae sparks Hawks' early punch

Coming off the 34-point blowout in Game 2, the Hawks came out firing early. They raced to a 17-4 lead after the first 4:30 minutes.

Young, who scored 11 of his team-high points tally in the first quarter, scored seven of the team's first 17 points.

Kevin Huerter was also a huge spark of the 17-4 run, scoring or assisting on 10.

Bucks respond

Trailing by as many as 15, Milwaukee didn't let the game get away from them.

After that early 17-4 jump, they outscored the Hawks 23-15 over the rest of the period and with the help of some friendly bounce on a Middleton buzzer-beater, ensured that it would only be a five-point game (32-27) after the first 12 minutes.

From the end of the first quarter till their first lead, late in the third quarter, the Bucks were down by around five for a majority of the time. They did tie the game up a couple of times but could never take the lead.

Trae Young's night cut short

Despite the Bucks surging back, Young was leading the Hawks and ensuring they remain ahead.

He had 32 points through three quarters before his night was cut short after he injured his ankle. He appeared to tweak it on an official's foot as he looked to change direction.

After a brief time in the locker room, reportedly to re-tape his ankle, Young returned but wasn't the same.

This was the eighth 30-point game of his postseason career, tying him with LeBron James for second-most in a single playoffs by a player aged 22 or younger.

Hawks from 3 vs. Bucks in paint

Before Middleton caught fire, the contest felt like a game of cat and mouse. The Hawks would dominate from beyond the arc while the Bucks were doing the same in the paint.

If you remove Middleton's 3-point makes in the final quarter, the Bucks would only have eight for the game while the Hawks, after an off-shooting 17-point fourth-quarter, had 15 for the game.

Meanwhile, in the paint, the Bucks outscored the Hawks by 32 (56-34).

What's next?

The Bucks re-take home-court advantage and will look to put a stranglehold on the series by attempting to go up 3-1 when both teams suit up for Game 4 after a day off on Tuesday, June 29 at 8:30 p.m ET.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

powell-ftr.jpeg
Powell says Lillard recruited him to re-sign with Portland
Kyle Irving
Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo at Miami Heat Media Day 2021.
Running Diary: Updates from Media Day
NBA.com Staff
#Porter
Report: MPJ agrees to max extension with Nuggets
Kyle Irving
#Kawhi
Kawhi makes his intentions clear with Clippers
Kyle Irving
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving
Kyrie remotely joins media day, asks for privacy
Brian Mahoney — AP
Miami Heat star Kyle Lowry
First look at Lowry in Heat uniform
Scott Rafferty
More News