Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points, Jrue Holiday added 22 and the Milwaukee Bucks blew out the Atlanta Hawks 125-91 on Friday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece.
The Bucks never trailed, scored 20 straight points late in the second quarter and led by at least 30 throughout the second half. Both teams rested their starters for the entire fourth quarter.
“We came in focused on each possession at a time in Game 2, and we were able to do it together as a team,” Antetokounmpo said.
This marks the third straight series in which the Hawks lost Game 2 after winning Game 1 on the road. Those Game 2 losses have been decided by a total of 59 points.
The series shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Sunday.
“We got one,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “We’re happy with that. But there’s another level we have to get to in order to win games and advance. That intensity they came out with wasn’t a surprise to us. They just totally dominated the entire game.”
Brook Lopez scored 16 points for the Bucks, while Khris Middleton had 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Antetokounmpo had nine rebounds and six assists.
The Greek Freak was in attack mode:<br><br>25 PTS | 9 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 11/18 FG <a href=”https://t.co/QWeGjtm9Gv”>pic.twitter.com/QWeGjtm9Gv</a>
Danilo Gallinari had 12 points and John Collins and Cam Reddish each added 11 for the Hawks.
Milwaukee was intent on making life difficult for Young two nights after the Bucks blew a seven-point lead in the final four minutes of Game 1. Young’s Game 1 performance had made him the first player ever with at least 45 points and 10 assists in a conference finals game.
Young committed eight turnovers in the first half alone. He shot 6 of 16 overall and 1 of 8 from 3-point range.
Milwaukee pulled ahead in the opening minutes as Antetokounmpo continually got to the rim for easy baskets. The Bucks already owned a double-digit lead before going on a 20-0 run late in the second quarter to break open the game.
Holiday scored nine points in the spurt and capped the run with a 3-pointer and layup. Lopez added seven points during that stretch.
The Bucks led 77-45 after a first half in which they shot 64.6 per cent and capitalized on 13 Hawks turnovers, including eight from Young.