The Bucks beat Don Giannis’ Bulls to take first place in the NBA Playoffs

He plays

Milwaukee Bucks lock into the top.

Milwaukee clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference by sponsoring the Chicago Bulls, 105-92, Wednesday night at the Fiserv Forum.

This achievement deserves celebration for the Bucks (58-22), but the joy has dampened a bit due to the many injuries the team has suffered in recent games.

square score: 105 Bucks, Bulls 92

Milwaukee has two more regular season games — versus Memphis on Friday and Toronto on Sunday — so the team can choose to rest key players before the playoffs.

Bobby Portis scored 27 points and 13 rebounds—his second straight double-double—to lead the Bucks. Brook Lopez added 26 points, and Guru Holiday added 20 points and 15 assists.

Khris Middleton leaves the game with a sore knee

Khris Middleton took the Bucks’ first shot of the game, a baseline conversion, but looked a bit fumbling while running to defense.

Middleton stayed in the game for most of the first quarter, and missed two more attempts, but was knocked out with 3:36 remaining. He returned to the locker room, and Bucks announced that Middleton would not return with soreness in his right knee.

This is worrisome for Bucks fans because Middleton has been hit all season. He injured his left knee in the playoffs last season and missed the start of the season after wrist surgery. Middleton also missed 18 matches due to right knee soreness.

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Bucks battles other injury issues while Giannis Antetokounmpo sits out

Bucks coach Mike Bodenholzer said before the game that two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss the game. The Milwaukee star is listed for right knee pain. He played 33 minutes on Tuesday night in Washington.

Bucks guards Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen were out with a sprained right ankle.

Both guards are injured in a similar manner by landing on the opponents’ feet. Allen left Sunday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers, and Budenholzer said Tuesday that Allen is likely to miss even the first round of the playoffs.

Connaughton was injured in the first half against the Wizards on Tuesday night, but played several minutes later after the injury.

Bucks move away in the second half

Despite all of the injury woes, Dollars still went up, 20-9, in the first quarter. But the Bulls fought back in the second quarter and grabbed the lead at 42-41 when Ayo Dosonmu fell on a mid-range jumper.

Holiday responded with a Milwaukee three-pointer, but Chicago went into halftime with a 51-49 advantage.

The Bucks did not score through the first three minutes of the second half, and Budenholzer called a timeout after the Bulls clinched a 61-51 lead after Patrick Beverley sank a three-pointer.

The Bucks struggled to take the lead at 63-61 when Holiday drove in a layup. Portis added a three-pointer on Milwaukee’s next offensive possession.

Leading 79-76 in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee never let Chicago threaten the lead the rest of the way.

Five numbers

5 Helps for the holiday in the first quarter

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10 Players who played for the Bucks in the first half

$10,000 The amount earned by a Bucks fan after a half-court shot was earned during the first half

6 Portis made three pointers for a season-high

3 Live games with 20 points or more Lopez

Playing the game is three pointers Wesley Mathews

With several perimeter players injured, veteran guard Wesley Matthews was pressed into service. He came off the bench with great passes, including a big three-pointer after a steal by Holiday that gave the Bucks a 91-82 lead with just over seven minutes remaining.

Video from the match is of Joe Inglis getting involved in a technical foul against Patrick Beverley

Milwaukee’s Joe Engels and Chicago’s Patrick Beverly are two of the NBA’s leading speakers. Put them on the field together and sparks are bound to ignite. It happened in the third quarter after Engels and Beverly pitted each other on several possessions. Engels then nailed a three-pointer and tackled Beverly, as the Bucks forward was fouled.

Who does Pax play next?

Milwaukee will play its final home game of the regular season against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Memphis delivered one of its worst losses of the season, 142-101, on Dec. 15 at the FedEx Forum.

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