NBA

NBA Playoffs 2021: Milwaukee Bucks blow out Atlanta Hawks behind big night for Giannis Antetokounmpo

As far as responses come, this was about as emphatic as it gets from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Bouncing back from a shock loss in Game 1, Milwaukee dominated the Atlanta Hawks 125-91 with the series now tied 1-1.

Aggressive defence, proactive offence and some improved outside shooting helped Milwaukee put the game away in the first half, with the No. 3 seed seemingly finding their groove.

Antetokounmpo paint assault

The two-time MVP posted 34 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in Game 1, though he was still far from his best, missing a series of restricted area attempts in unchracteristic fashion.

Those rare blemishes were erased in this one, with Antetokounmpo launching an all out assault on the Hawks interior defence.

The Milwaukee superstar was able to clock off early, sitting out the entire fourth quarter, as he put in big time work early in the game to finish with 25 points, nine rebounds and two assists.

Antetokounmpo was 11-for-15 from 2-point range and through two games it appears the Hawks have very little in the way of resistance for the Greek freight train.

It's simply up to Antetokounmpo to stay aggressive.

Sizzling Bucks scorch Hawks in second

After a tight first quarter that saw Milwaukee hold a 34-28 edge, the second quarter was a demolition job from the Bucks.

Milwaukee outscored Atlanta 43-17 for the period, including a 20-0 run that blew the game wide open.

Turnovers crippled the Hawks, with Milwaukee scoring 22 points off 13 first half Atlanta turnovers.

Holiday (19 points), Antetokounmpo (17) and Lopez (13) did the majority of the damage as Milwaukee stifled the Atlanta offence.

Making Trae Uncomfortable

After getting front row seats to a 48-point explosion two nights earlier, the Bucks vowed to be more aggressive in defending Trae Young.

Led by Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee stuck to their word, closing down space on dribble penetration, forcing Young to operate in a crowd.

Along with an aggressive Holiday, the Bucks mixed switching defence with drop coverage, though in this game Lopez was more prepared to move closer to the level of the screen, preventing Young from having a runway to create or shoot his trademark floater.

Young tallied just 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting, the first time he has failed to reach 20 points in his 14-game postseason career.

A playoff series is all about adjustments. The Bucks took a blow in Game 1 and made the required changes in Game 2.

Now it's back to Atlanta to counter.

Jrue bounce back

Speaking of Holiday, the resurgence on the offensive end continued in Game 2 for the Bucks star.

Coming off a brutal shooting series against Brooklyn, Holiday followed up a 33-point, 10-assist Game 1 with 22 points and seven assists in Game 2.

Holiday's contribution has been big time for a Bucks offence that is yet to see the best out of Khris Middleton through two games.

Middleton posted a quiet 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting, though he did add seven rebounds and eight assists.

A classic Giannis highlight

This move in the first quarter from Antetokounmpo could quite possibly be the best of his highlight filled career.

Putting the ball down before moving to his trademark spin move, Antetokounmpo rose up appearing likely to attempt a dunk before adjusting in mid air to drop in a pretty lay-up around Clint Capela.

Just beautiful.

Welcome back Bobby

Bobby Portis quickly became a fan favourite in Milwaukee with his infectious energy often igniting the home fans.

With the Bucks often playing small against Brooklyn in the second round, Portis was squeezed out of the rotation in the final four games of the series.

The veteran big man has provided a big spark in the Conference Finals so far, with his eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes bringing "Bobby" chants from the Bucks fans.

Bogey continues to struggle

Bogdan Bogdanovic is struggling mightily right now, with his fourth straight tough night.

Questionable with knee soreness prior to tip, Bogdanovic would play but was heavily limited once again.

A critical scoring option in the Hawks offence, Bogdanovic could only manage eight points in 18 minutes.

What's next?

The Eastern Conference show now heads to Atlanta, with just one night off before Game 3.

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