Missed free throws and periods of stagnant offense were two of the biggest contributors to the Milwaukee Bucks losing Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Playoff series to the rival Bulls, 113-106, in double overtime.
Playing in front of an energetic, yet bi-partisan crowd at the Bradley Center, the Bucks surged to an 18-point second quarter, a lead that was quickly erased by an 18-0 Chicago run.
Trailing by ten with 2:50 remaining in regulation, Khris Middleton scored eight straight points to rally Milwaukee and force overtime. The Bulls started the second OT with a 12-0 to sieze control.
Giannis Antetokounmpo overcame two rough games to start the series to pace the Bucks with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams added 19 points and Khris Middleton pitched in with 18.
Chicago’s backcourt of Derrick Rose (34) and Marquette product Jimmy Butler (24) proved, yet again, to be too much to handle. The duo scored 58 points, including 11 points in the two overtime sessions.
Milwaukee struggled at the free throw line, going 14-for-25. The Bucks also went through several significant droughts, highlighted by a more than six-minute scoreless stretch in the two OT’s.
Meanwhile, the Bulls, who averaged 7.9 three-pointers during the regular season, connected on 14. Rose made five, while Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell each drilled four.
The Bucks, 1-6 against their I-94 rivals this season, will try to stave off elimination and avoid their second straight playoff loss Saturday with Game 4 at the Bradley Center. Tip off at 4:30pm.