By Adrian Stewart Co
KHRIS Middleton drained a game-winner as Milwaukee Bucks escaped with a 109-107 win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2020-2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) Season’s Eastern Conference first-round playoffs on Saturday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
With the score tied at 107-all after a three-pointer shot by Heat’s Goran Dragić, Middleton broke the tie for the Bucks with a 19-footer jumper with 0.5 seconds left despite being closely guarded by Miami’s Duncan Robinson.
The Bucks tightened its defense on the other end as Jrue Holiday blocked a potential game-winning attempt from Heat’s Jimmy Butler as the buzzer rang.
Middleton top-scored with 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in 26 points, 18 rebounds, and five assists for the no. 3 seed Bucks.
Holiday had a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Brook Lopez drained 18 markers for Milwaukee.
Dragić led the Heat’s offense with 25 points, Robinson added 24 markers, while Jimmy Butler dropped a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, heated up in the endgame to score a 113-103 triumph against Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference’s first-round playoffs.
Trailing 95-98, the Mavericks unloaded a 12-2 scoring blast behind Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr. to seize a 107-100 advantage.
The Clippers clawed to within 103-109 after a free throw by Kawhi Leonard, but four freebies from Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson sealed the victory for Dallas.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with a triple-double of 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, while Hardaway had 21 markers, including five three-point conversions.
MILWAUKEE 109 – Middleton 27, G. Antetokounmpo 26, Holiday 20, Lopez 18, Portis 8, Forbes 5, DiVincenzo 3, Connaughton 2, Tucker 0.
MIAMI 107 – Dragić 25, Robinson 24, Butler 17, Nunn 10, Herro 10, Adebayo 9, Ariza 8, Iguodala 2, Dedmon 2.
22-24, 53-50, 80-78, 99-99, 109-107./ASC,WDJ