D’Tigers of Nigeria guard Jordan Nwora is heading to the NBA finals with Milwaukee Bucks, after beating Atlanta Hawks 188-107 at State Farm Arena in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night.
The bucks who lost Giannis Antetokounmpo in game four, became aggressive in game five and six thanks to Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton uping their game, in those two matches. Brook Lopez suddenly became the hero in the absence of Antetokounmpo.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined yet again, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday put the Bucks on their backs and combined for 59 points to carry Milwaukee to an opportunity to compete against the Phoenix Suns for a championship on the game’s biggest stage. While he attempted to play through a bone bruise that had sidelined him earlier in the series, Trae Young just did not have enough in the tank to help Atlanta extend this series, and their season, as the All-Star finished the loss with 14 points and nine assists.
Now, the Bucks and Suns will square off in the NBA Finals with Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday night in Phoenix.
By some miracle, Giannis Antetokounmpo did not suffer a serious long-term injury when he violently hyperextended his knee in Game 4. But while he avoided the worst, he was in no position to play in the rest of this series, which put all sorts of pressure on Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
Middleton has been with the Bucks and has seen it all with this franchise, from a 15-win season to playoff failures. He made sure there wouldn’t be another of the latter on his watch. After a near triple-double in Game 5, he got off to a rough start in Game 6. At halftime he had more turnovers (6) than points (5). That wasn’t going to cut it, so Middleton came out of the halftime break and turned in one of the best quarters of his career.
After a three-year playoff drought, the Hawks’ front office and ownership decided they were tired of being stuck in the lottery. With cap space to burn, they went out and made a number of big moves, such as signing Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari, with one goal in mind: make the playoffs.