Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) – The Bucks won’t stop here.
Michael Carter-Williams scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter
and Milwaukee staved off elimination yet again with a 94-88 win over the
Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Carter-Williams battled through an ankle injury and shot 10-of-15 from the
field while adding nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who needed a
buzzer-beating Jerryd Bayless layup to save their season in Game 4.
The young upstarts were much more convincing on Monday, leading the entire
second half and making the United Center crowd a non-factor most of the night.
“(The team) worked their tails off and put themselves in position to make this
a series,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “No one had us in this position. We
just go out and play basketball.”
Khris Middleton finished with 21 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in with
11, and John Henson pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds in addition to key
baskets and defense down the stretch.
The Bulls committed 13 turnovers — 15 fewer than their mistake-filled attempt
at a sweep on Saturday — but they shot just 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) from the
field in the fourth quarter and 34.4 percent overall.
Derrick Rose struggled in particular with just 13 points on 5-of-20 shooting,
while Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler both contributed double-doubles for a
combined 45 points and 20 boards.
The series shifts back to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Thursday.
Middleton and Carter-Williams carried the Bucks’ offense in the first half as
they totaled 29 points, and when Carter-Williams went down with an ankle
sprain early in the third quarter, Milwaukee’s bit players got in on the act.
Antetokounmpo converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound, and Zaza
Pachulia added another one with a circus shot over Butler to spark a 12-4 run
that gave the Bucks their largest lead.
The Bulls trailed by nine, 67-58, following an Ersan Ilyasova 3-pointer, but
they stayed relatively close by making eight free throws over the final four
minutes of the third.
Carter-Williams returned from getting taped up in the locker room and opened
the fourth with a couple of buckets that gave Milwaukee an 80-72 advantage.
It was a nine-point game before two long jumpers from Rose and another from
Gasol cut the Bulls’ deficit to 86-83 with under five minutes remaining.
That was as close as they got.
Carter-Williams banked in a jumper, and after forcing Gasol into a miss on the
defensive end, Henson threw down a putback dunk on the ensuing possession to
force a Bulls timeout.
Antetokounmpo recorded two blocks in the final two minutes, including one of
Rose that would have cut Chicago’s deficit to two. Middleton made two free
throws with 27.3 seconds left for the final margin.
Chicago missed its first eight shots and trailed 9-0 less than four minutes
in, but the Bulls scored the next 11 points coming out of a timeout. The lead
changed hands seven more times the rest of the half, which ended with the
Bucks holding a slim 52-49 lead.
The Bulls had won nine in a row at home … Gasol has recorded a double-double
every game this series … Bulls rookie Nikola Mirotic was limited to three
points in 18-plus minutes off the bench … Joakim Noah also posted a double-
double for Chicago with 10 points and 13 rebounds … Rose committed six
turnovers … Milwaukee’s bench has outscored Chicago’s reserves every game
this series following their 25-20 advantage … The Bucks made all 16 of their
free throw attempts.