The NBA Conference Finals continue their journey, with no team giving up their series easily. The Milwaukee Bucks demolished the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and the Phoenix Suns took a bigger lead against the LA Clippers on Saturday. The Bucks did it again yesterday, advancing to 2-1 and making things more difficult for the Hawks to pull off a Cinderella series win. They’ll try to get back into the contest tomorrow, but, in the meantime, the Suns and the Clippers will face off tonight in a game that could be the last for the Clippers.
Bucks Rally For the Lead
The Bucks figured out, after losing Game 1, what needed to happen to get back into the contest in Game 2. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points and Jrue Holiday tacked on 22 as Milwaukee overpowered the Hawks 125-91 on Friday. The Bucks effectively stopped Trae Young all night, allowing them to control the game from the start. Milwaukee was never behind in the contest and went on a 20-point run in the second quarter to emphasize their domination. This is now the third straight series where the Hawks have taken a loss in Game 2 after starting strong in Game 1.
The Bucks weren’t done there, though. When the two met again last night, Milwaukee continued to dominate. This time, it was Khris Middleton who showed off, scoring 38 points in the game. Of those, 20 came in the final quarter of the 113-102 win. Antetokounmpo added 33, showing that he can be consistent in the playoffs. Young was able to find some openings for the Hawks and put up 35 points, but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that Atlanta was ever ahead in the game and that was only by a basket. The game flipped again from there, and the Bucks controlled the last quarter.
Suns Begin to Run Away
The Suns now have a commanding 3-1 lead over the Clippers, thanks to a close win on Saturday. That game was anything but textbook basketball, with both teams appearing clumsy and sluggish at the same time. It came down to a superior performance by Chris Paul to give the Suns the 84-80 win, and there was no love lost as he handed his former teammates another defeat.
The Clippers never had control of the ball, except for a brief period in the third quarter. That was the only chance they had at trying to take the lead, but only made it to within three points before they fell apart once again. In the fourth, they made it to within one; however, they still couldn’t give their fans a reason to celebrate. The Suns took the game, 84-80.
It All Comes Down to This
The Clippers have a chance to hang on if they win tonight, while the Suns are looking to close this chapter and take a break before the NBA Finals. Oddsmakers think that the Suns will do it, giving them -225 on the line and the Clippers +180. However, the Clippers have shown to be resilient and two games they lost were only by a couple of baskets combined. It wouldn’t be wrong to take the Clippers at home tonight, even though they will play without Kawhi Leonard.
The spread gives the Suns -5.5 (-110) but, again, the Clippers deserve some attention. Most of the wagers, according to the sportsbooks, is being put on the Clippers, and it’s always a good idea to follow the money. The Over/Under is at 214.5 (-110), the lowest of any game so far. Taking the Under isn’t a bad move as both teams are going to be playing a different game tonight.