The Milwaukee Bucks ensure they will return home for Game 6 with a thunderous 107-96 victory in Game 4 to level their second-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets 2-2. Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 34 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks while Khris Middleton added 19 points. Kevin Durant let the Nets, who lost Kyrie Irving for the game with an ankle injury, with 28 points.
The vital moment occurred midway through the second quarter. Irving converted a layup, but his right leg landed on Antetokounmpo’s foot and caused an ankle sprain. Irving stayed down for a few minutes, but eventually left the floor on his own power. The Nets ruled him out for the rest of the contest shortly after halftime. Milwaukee held a 53-48 lead at the break and went on a 21-10 run to open the third quarter to create major separation.
Durant help the Nets battle back to within 10 points, but the damage was already done. Despite Jeff Green returning to the lineup, Irving’s departure created a void in Brooklyn’s offense which couldn’t be filled. After coming within a minute of holding a 3-0 lead, the Nets go back home at 2-2 and will have to hope their stars recover before it’s too late.
The Bucks hit 16 triples in the victory and played excellent defense, forcing Brooklyn into 17 turnovers. Milwaukee will look to continue performing well in those categories as the series becomes a best-of-three.