It was a franchise-defining moment for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night at home against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Finals series.
Brooklyn held a 3-2 series lead following Kevin Durant’s virtuoso Game 5 performance, leaving the Bucks on the brink of elimination. After falling in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Miami Heat last season, Milwaukee needed to make a statement.
Could it be a legit championship contender with the Greek Freak leading the charge or would the organization be in for major changes following another premature playoff exit?
With Khris Middleton putting up one of the better performances of his career, the Milwaukee Bucks more than answered the call. They opened up an 11-point lead at the half. And after the Nets cut the lead to five in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee went on a run to win by the score of 104-89.
Middleton scored 38 points on a resounding 11-of-16 shooting while adding 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Giannis added 30 points and 17 rebounds. The two Milwaukee Bucks All-Stars came to play in what might have been the biggest game in franchise history. They were also able to overcome another 30-plus point performance from Durant.
All of this sets the stage for Game 7 Saturday evening from the Barclays center in Brooklyn in what promises to be an epic matchup.