Chicago Bulls (-3.5, 187.5 o/u) at Milwaukee Bucks
Apparently nobody told the Milwaukee Bucks (43-44, 23-19 home) that teams don’t come back from 3-0 series deficits in the NBA. After dropping a trio of games to open their series with the Chicago Bulls (53-34, 24-19 away), the Bucks have responded with two straight wins. Tonight, they will look to level the best-of-seven affair at three apiece as the series moves back to Milwaukee for Game 6 (7:00 PM Eastern).
The Bucks’ Michael Carter-Williams put in 22 points and added nine assists while Khris Middleton scored 21 points as Milwaukee beat the Bulls 94-88 in Chicago on Monday night, easily covering as large 8.5-point dogs. The road win has Milwaukee’s confidence soaring to new heights.
“We believe that we can beat this team, and we felt that we shouldn’t be going home right now,” Middleton said.
Added Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, “A lot of people look at it as house money. You can always talk about the future, but we don’t. We don’t really understand what the future holds for us. We’ve got to stay in the present. This is what this team has done all year. They haven’t looked at the future. They’ve just stayed in the present. They’ve worked their tails off and they’ve put themselves in this position to make [it] a series.”
As for the Bulls, Derrick Rose said it all: “Somehow we’re making it hard.”
Chicago’s star point guard struggled mightily in Game 5, scoring only 13 points on 5/21 shooting while committing six turnovers. Pau Gasol did his best to keep the Bulls close, putting up 25 points and ten boards, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Chicago’s cold shooting as the team went 35-percent from the floor.
“Got to give credit to the Bucks for how they’re competing, how they’re giving themselves a chance,” Gasol said. “But we’ve done it to ourselves. Now we have a very difficult challenge in front of us. They have momentum. They have confidence. And they go home to force Game 7. Let’s see how we play Game 6, how we react to the situation as a team.”
On the season, Milwaukee is 48-38-1 ATS. Tonight, the surging team is getting 3.5 points at home against a Bulls squad that was just 20-21 ATS on the road. That makes the Bucks and the points (+3.5) the play.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Joakim Noah) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)