Bucks hammer Chicago in Game 3 to take 2-1 series lead

Milwaukee didn’t have Khris Middleton for Game 3 of its series against Chicago but it didn’t come close to mattering. The Bucks grabbed a 16-point lead after one quarter and went on to earn a dominating 111-81 win over the Bulls Friday night to take a 2-1 lead.

With Middleton forced to watch from the bench due to a sprained MCL, Milwaukee saw its role players step up.

Grayson Allen, who had three points in the first two games combined, exploded for 22 points. Booed mercilessly by the home fans, the former Duke star went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and added six rebounds to the Bucks’ cause. Bobby Portis returned after getting knocked out of Game 2 with an eye abbrasion and he looked like a man determined to make up for lost time. Playing with protective goggles, he got the start in Middleton’s place and dropped 18 points and 16 rebounds. Pat Connaughton gave the team 11 points, helping the Bucks outscore Chicago’s bench 44-26.

The defense was also locked in, holding the Bulls to just 81 points, the second-fewest they’ve scored this season. And after allowing DeMar DeRozen to drop 41 points in Game 2, the Bucks limited him to 11 points. They were actually 23 points better than the Bulls when DeRozen was on the court.

Milwaukee domination came without overwhelming offensive efforts from its two other stars. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday had 16 points and 6 assists.

With the win, the Bucks stole back homecourt advantage and they’ll look to put Chicago on the brink of elimination in Game 4 on Sunday.