Middleton's 40 points help Bucks beat Suns, even up Finals 2-2
After dropping the first two games of the series in Phoenix, the Bucks battled back on their home court to even up the NBA Finals at 2-2.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 26 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists for Milwaukee, while Jrue Holiday struggled offensively with 13 points on 4-of-20 shooting, along with seven assists and seven rebounds.
"Going down the stretch, we kept believing in ourselves. We kept executing," Antetokounmpo said following the hard-fought win. "We wanted this bad, and the team showed it tonight. But we got to keep getting better."
With Milwaukee leading by two points with 1:15 remaining, Antetokounmpo made the play of the game with an incredibly athletic block that thwarted Deandre Ayton's dunk attempt.
Devin Booker dealt with foul trouble, but he still managed to finish with a game-high 42 points during the loss. The star guard benefitted from a clear non-call after appearing to commit his sixth foul when wrapping up Holiday with under 3:38 remaining in the contest. Referee James Capers later acknowledged he made an incorrect call on the play.
Booker piled up 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting in the third quarter and entered the fourth with 38 points. The 24-year-old now has 542 points so far this postseason, which is the most ever in a player's first playoff run.
Chris Paul struggled in Game 4 with an uncharacteristic five turnovers, 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting, and seven assists. Ayton tallied a game-high 17 rebounds but only recorded six points.
The Bucks shot 40.2% from the field and 24.1% from 3-point range, while the Suns finished a more efficient 51.3% on field goals and 30.4% on long-range attempts.
Game 5 is on Saturday in Phoenix.