Milwaukee Bucks: Takeaways from riveting Game 3 win vs. Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 27 (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 27 (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 27 (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Last night’s Game 3 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks was a must-see thriller that fans who missed that action will be kicking themselves over.

The Bucks came out flat to start, even letting the Hawks build up a double-digit lead quickly, but they continued fighting to keep this game close. Eventually, they were right back in it with a 56-56 score at the half, but Atlanta took control once again in the second half and appeared to be in the driver’s seat as this game began winding down.

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Yet, this battle-tested group stuck with it and showed their resiliency, eventually emerging victorious with a 113-102 win on the road to take a 2-1 series lead in these Eastern Conference Finals. More on what – or who exactly – made this storied fourth quarter run possible in a moment.

It was certainly an ugly back-and-forth battle until the very end, but the Bucks will take it. With that being said, here are three takeaways from last night’s matchup.

The Milwaukee Bucks dominate down low yet again in their Game 3 win over Atlanta Hawks

If the Bucks have had a lifeline on their side in this series yet, it has been their ability to flat-out charge into the paint and score the basketball.

Unable to get any rhythm going from behind the arc yet again to start this matchup, they went back to their reliable spot down low. It ultimately worked well in their favor as the Bucks outscored the Hawks 56-34 on the night to help pave the way to victory. Among the many players that did their damage down low, one that deserves quick recognition is big man Bobby Portis. Milwaukee’s energizer scored 15 points total off the bench, with 10 of them being in the paint. He was stellar across his 17 minutes played as he continues showing why he needs minutes in the rotation.

In addition to their scoring onslaught close to the hoop, the Bucks also won the rebounding battle quite handily by outrebounding the Hawks 59-45 on the night. That included 15 offensive boards for Milwaukee, in contrast to just nine for Atlanta. Rebounding down the stretch was a massive factor in why the Bucks could not close out Game 1 of this series on their home floor, but they emphasized securing boards this time around and saw several second chance opportunities because of the sheet hustle.

Milwaukee’s towering size gives them a massive advantage close to the hoop in this series, and hopefully they continue staying aggressive when the opportunity arises.