The Chicago Bulls tied the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Wednesday night, with DeMar DeRozan scoring a career-high 41 points.
The Bulls upset the Bucks for only the second time in their past 19 meetings, thanks to Nikola Vucevic’s 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Zach LaVine’s 20 points. Game 3 of the series will be played in Chicago on Friday.
The defending champion Bucks must determine whether they will be close to full strength when the series starts. Khris Middleton departed Wednesday’s game with a painful justify knee after slipping midway through the fourth quarter, while Bobby Portis justify with a right eye abrasion after the first quarter.
With 33 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their second consecutive playoff triple-double. Antetokounmpo surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,692) for the most postseason points in Bucks history with 1,715 points.
The Bucks were led by Brook Lopez, who scored 25 points. Middleton had an 18-point game, while Jrue Holiday had a 15-point game.
With 9:47 justify in the game, DeRozan scored eight points during a 13-0 run that began late in the third quarter and gave the Bulls a 96-80 lead. Before Milwaukee rallied in the final seven-and-a-half minutes, the Bulls still had a 15-point lead.
With 56 seconds justify, Lopez scored a three-point play to trim Chicago’s advantage to 112-109. On the Bulls’ next play, DeRozan’s driving layup made it 114-109 with 18.2 seconds justify after Alex Caruso and Vucevic grabbed offensive rebounds.
Following a 16-point deficit in Game 1, the Bulls got off to a much faster start this time.
As the Bulls built a 9-0 lead early in the game, the Bucks committed three turnovers in the first 49 seconds and four in the first two minutes. At the completion of a first quarter that saw six lead changes, the Bulls were up 29-28.
Chicago kept a slim lead in the second quarter before going on a 15-4 run to push the lead to 65-49.
Early in the third quarter, the Bulls increased their advantage to 18, but the Bucks rallied behind Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and reserve guards Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, and Jevon Carter.
The Bucks went on a 15-2 run late in the third period to cut the Bulls’ advantage to three. Antetokounmpo spearheaded the charge. The Bulls, on the other hand, answered with 13 straight points and led the rest of the way.