Brook Lopez scored a playoff career-high 33 points and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence to beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-112 on Thursday night for a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Bucks are one win away from reaching the NBA finals for the first time since 1974. They won their lone NBA title in 1971.
Four of their starters had at least 22 points: Lopez, Khris Middleton (26), Jrue Holiday (25) and Bobby Portis (22). Middleton also had 13 rebounds and eight assists. Holiday had 13 assists and six rebounds.
Game 6 is Saturday in Atlanta, with the winner of the series facing the Phoenix Suns in the NBA finals.
Each team was missing its biggest star as Antetokounmpo dealt with a hyperextended left knee and Atlanta’s Trae Young sat out a second straight game due to a bone bruise in his right foot.
Young got hurt when he accidentally stepped on an official’s foot along the sideline in Milwaukee’s 113-102 Game 3 victory. Antetokounmpo landed awkwardly after trying to block Clint Capela’s dunk attempt in Atlanta’s 110-88 Game 4 triumph.