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Bucks build big halftime lead looking to clinch

Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing facilitator, and his six assists have helped the Milwaukee Bucks to a 52-39 lead after one half of Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics.

Leading, 3-1, the Bucks are looking to clinch the series.

Nikola Mirotic leads the Bucks with 10 points, while George Hill and Eric Bledsoe have nine each.

Antetokounmpo has six points and has taken just six shots.

Leading by just a 22-19 margin after a quarter, the Bucks scored the first nine points of the second quarter, including a 3-pointer by Khris Middleton, to take a 31-19 lead. Boston regathered, and Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer pulled Boston within 38-32.

A three-point play by Antetokounmpo started a 12-2 run. Antetokounmpo assisted on back-to-back 3-pointers by Malcolm Brogdon and Mirotic for a 51-36 Bucks lead, and a technical foul on Al Horford gave Middleton a free throw that made it 52-36.

Gordon Hayward made a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left to pull the Celtics within 52-39.

The Bucks are shooting just 40.9% (18 of 44), but the Celtics are much worse at 25.5% (13 for 51), including just 4 for 23 (17.4%) on 3-pointers.

Irving leads Boston with 13 points but is just 5 for 17.

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