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The Bucks stop here: Miami into NBA Eastern Conference finals

Jae Crowder scored 16, Tyler Herro scored 14, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Kelly Olynyk had 12 apiece for the Heat.

Khris Middleton had 23 points for Milwaukee, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds from Brook Lopez. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17, Wesley Matthews and Marvin Williams each had 11 and Eric Bledsoe had nine assists for the Bucks.

Injured league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did what he could from off the court for Milwaukee.

Injured league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did what he could from off the court for Milwaukee.Credit:AP

Antetokounmpo did what he could — cheering from the bench throughout, rebounding for teammates during pre-game warm-ups and again at half-time, offering words during time-outs.

And the Bucks were inspired from the jump.

But the NBA’s No. 1 overall seed in these play-offs — a league-best 56-17 in the regular season — just didn’t have enough.

Milwaukee opened the game on a 28-15 run, putting Miami on their heels from the opening minutes. DiVincenzo got the call to start for Antetokounmpo and scored eight of Milwaukee’s first 16 points, Matthews had nine by the end of the quarter and the Bucks were off to a promising start.

Miami answered that start with a 30-9 run of its own, capped by three free throws from Olynyk with 4:36 left in the half for a 45-37 Heat lead.

Milwaukee wouldn’t let the Heat get away, though – not then, and not in the third when Miami pushed the lead out to 12 after a 3-pointer by Crowder with 3:07 left. The Bucks needed just 50 seconds to rip off seven straight points, and it stayed close from there.

AP

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