Experts, Fans React as Bucks Rout Bulls in Game 3 with Khris Middleton out Injured

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 23, 2022

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) battles for a rebound against Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during the first half of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, April 22, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Despite missing three-time All-Star Khris Middleton with a sprained MCL, the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Chicago Bulls 111-81 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Friday.

Milwaukee led by as many as 37 points and held a double-digit edge for the entirety of the final three quarters. The Bucks led for the final 46 minutes overall.

Simply put, Milwaukee was laser-focused and determined to put a disappointing Game 2 loss behind them from the start.

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm

Man, the Bucks are locked in tonight.

Jim Owczarski @JimOwczarski

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucks</a> were up 16 to start the second quarter and Giannis Antetokounmpo had one basket.

Milwaukee won despite a relatively quiet (but efficient) scoring night from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. The Bucks didn't need their superstar to be the hero, though, as numerous role players excelled.

Grayson Allen's 22 points led Milwaukee, and Bobby Portis added a 18-point, 16-rebound double-double.

Scott Grodsky @ScottGrodsky

Grayson Allen, Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton outscored Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan in Game Three.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Grayson Allen's 9 points in the 1st quarter tied his career high for any quarter in his playoff career<br><br>Allen was 3-3 FG for 9 pts with DeMar DeRozan as the primary defender in the first quarter <a href="https://t.co/ywNIWumEKP">pic.twitter.com/ywNIWumEKP</a>

Jim Owczarski @JimOwczarski

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucks</a> lead the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bulls?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bulls</a> 33-17 after one at the United Center. Grayson Allen came off the bench to hit 3 threes. Bobby Portis hit two. Pat Connaughton hit three free throws.

The Bucks' defense, which allowed DeMar DeRozan to score 41 points in a 114-110 Bulls Game 2, held him to 11 points Friday.

Chicago ended up shooting just 9-of-34 from three-point range as the Bucks' defense put on a masterclass performance.

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm

The Bulls scored:<br>17 points in the first quarter<br>24 points in the second quarter<br>18 points in the third quarter<br><br>Bucks brought it defensively and they lead, 90-59, heading to the fourth quarter after that Bobby Portis triple at the buzzer.

K.C. Johnson @KCJHoop

Bulls are playing at too slow a pace offensively. Bucks' set defense is on point thus far tonight. Even in halfcourt, too much standing around and not forceful cutting.

Steve Fifer @SparkyRadio

Defense much better. This looks more like the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucks</a> we know.

Milwaukee is now up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is set for 1 p.m. ET Sunday from Chicago.