Two nights after missing more opportunities than he would ever care to remember, Khris Middleton didn’t let this one pass by.
Middleton’s 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left lifted the Milwaukee Bucks to a grinding 116-113 victory over the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.
Middelton, who missed his last nine 3-point attempts, including two in the final minute, in a 110-107 loss at Charlotte Monday night, didn’t miss this one.
Middleton’s third trey of the night gave him 17 points on the night, but the Bucks (15-6) probably would not have been in position to win without another brilliant performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Greek superstar posted 36 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists two nights after posting 35 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists in the loss at Charlotte.
Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 24 points, including a 6-for-6 showing outside the arc.
Zach Levine and Jabari Parker each had 24 points to lead the Bulls (5-17), and Ryan Arcidiacono added 22.
Middlton’s shot saved the Bucks from a second embarrassing home loss in five days. They lost to the Phoenix Suns, who are now 4-16, on Friday night.
For the second time in 12 days, the Bucks allowed the Bulls 40 first-quarter points, this time resulting in a 40-30 lead.
The Bucks restored order and took the lead at the half, but the Bulls never let them out of their sight this time. The Bucks never led by more than six, and the Bulls tied it at 107 with 3:59 left on Robin Lopez’s banker. Chicago took the lead at 111-109 on Jabari Parker’s dunk while being fouled with 1:48 left, but the Bucks benefited from Parker missing the free throw.
Antetokounmpo tied it on a dunk with 1:34 left, then made two free throws with 36 seconds left to give the Bucks the lead.
Chicago tied it almost too easily on Levin’s reverse layup with 33.5 seconds left.
The Bucks chose not to take a timeout and advanced. Bledsoe drove the right baseline and fed Brook Lopez cutting down the lane. Lopez ran into resistance from his twin brother Robin, and his shot came up short.
The Lopez brothers battled for the ball, before Bledsoe, the shortest player on the court at the time, went high and tapped the ball to Brogdon at the left wing. Brogdon took one dribble in to the elbow and briefly looked at the hoop before dishing it out to an open Middleton. And this time Middleton did not miss.
The Bulls got a decent look at a game-tying three by Justin Holiday, but his shot hit off the back iron.