Phoenix and Milwaukee take the lead, Atlanta come back to 2-1 against Miami

Phoenix and Milwaukee take the lead, Atlanta come back to 2-1 against Miami

Hawks-Heat: 111-110

Miami leads 2-1

Slapped at the start of the Playoffs, beaten again in the second game, the Hawks were showing their (young) age in these Playoffs. It must be said that, for them and for the others, facing the Miami Heat is not a gift. But Trae Young and his gang reiterated last night that their 2021 conference finals weren’t spoofed. In a tense match, they held on and counted on their brilliant leader to make the difference at the very end of the match (111-110). With this first success at home, Atlanta is relaunching in the series, still led by Miami (2-1).

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The evening had started badly in Atlanta since a suspicious packet delayed the start of the game by an hour. Late, neither team was late but it was the Hawks who created the first gap (+11) in the middle of the second quarter before returning to the locker room with a 7-point lead (61-54). The run of Jimmy Butler’s teammates (20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) in the 3rd quarter (31-16) made believe that the outcome of this game 3 would not differ from those of the first two meetings but it was to misunderstand the character of these Hawks.

Led by 15 points, they came back and even PJ Tucker’s three-pointer less than a minute from the end (110-109 for Miami) was not enough. Trae Youg (24 points, 8 assists) donned his savior trappings with a floater less than 5 seconds from the buzzer for the victory (111-110).

Bulls-Bucks: 81-111

Milwaukee leads 2-1

No Khris Middleton, no problem? Without its second offensive option, what should Milwaukee fear against a Bulls team that appeared at the end of the regular season race before pilfering Game 2 in Wisconsin to everyone’s surprise? A lot of things if we think of this last duel, nothing if we refer to that of the night, largely dominated by the teammates of Giannis Antetokounmpo (18 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists in 29 minutes) who did not even need to force his immense talent (111-81).

There was no match. When Nikola Vucevic (19 points) returned his shot from distance to put Chicago at 3-2, he did not know it but never again would the Bulls take the lead in the game. It must be said that the evening was complicated for the stars of Chicago, DeMar DeRozan finished at 11 points and Zach LaVine at 15. Opposite, the Bucks unrolled, counting up to 37 points in advance before slowing down with the substitutes in the last quarter. No one has played more than thirty minutes on the side of Milwaukee, where Grayson Allen finished for once as top scorer (22 units), which regained the advantage of the field in this first round.

Pelicans-Suns: 111-114

Phoenix leads 2-1

There too it is a question of injury since Devin Booker has been missing in Phoenix since the last game won by New Orleans. Like the Bucks, we imagine the Suns having a substantial margin on a team qualified in the Playoffs via the play-in. The third game of this series, although won by the teammates of a huge Chris Paul (28 points, 14 assists), did not confirm the trend as the Pelicans hung on to cast doubt on the best record of the regular season (111-114).

The first period was to the advantage of Phoenix who relied heavily on a DeAndre Ayton who continues to prove his qualities. The pivot martyred his opponents to finish with 28 points and 17 rebounds, all at a very nice 13/20 shooting. In the wake of his pivot, Phoenix was up to 13 points ahead but opposite Brandon Ingram (34 points, 7 rebounds) discovers the Playoffs and intends to last. At the start of the last quarter, the score was 81-79 in favor of the Suns.

The last minute of this game was crazy and could have offered a pretty incredible turnaround. Led by nine points 49 seconds from the buzzer (106-97), the Pels caught fire. Ingram on two three-pointers then on three shots and CJ McCollum (30 points, 7 assists), on a lay-up allowed their team to return to four units (112-108). Alas, opposite Phoenix returned his throws and even McCollum’s last shot was useless (114-111). Phoenix takes control of the series.

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