Day 8 of the NBA playoff bubble tipped off Monday with the second slate of Game 4s at the league’s campus at Walt Disney World in Florida. Action from the playoffs will be updated here throughout the day.
The first round matchup just about everyone had down as a walkover has been much more competitive than expected. And yet, the Milwaukee Bucks are still just one game from advancing.
After three competitive quarters in Game 4, the Bucks dominated in the final period for a 121-106 win and 3-1 series lead against the Orland Magic.
Up only 84-81 entering the fourth, the Bucks reeled off an 18-3 run to take a commanding lead. The Magic responded with a 17-5 run of their own to get back within single digits, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
The difference for the Bucks was Khris Middleton suddenly coming alive after posting only three points in three quarters. With 18 fourth-quarter points, it should be little surprise that the Bucks looked their strongest when Middleton finally played like the co-star they need alongside Giannis Antetkounmpo, who was his usually dominant self with 31 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists.
Still playing without three of their most important players in Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, the Magic made do with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists from Nikola Vucevic and strong complementary efforts from Markelle Fultz and Terrence Ross.
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