Khris Middleton lifts Bucks to even NBA Finals

Middleton's late charge helps Milwaukee overcome big night from Devin Booker

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Cameron Payne (15) defend during the third quarter in game four of the 2021 NBA Finals Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

MILWAUKEE -- Khris Middleton scored 10 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to rally the Bucks to a 109-103 victory in Game 4 and Milwaukee evened the NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

Middleton made four free throws after making a challenged lefty layup and two jumpers to carry the Bucks to a 2-2 tie in the best-of-seven series.

Milwaukee overcame 42 points from Devin Booker and rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Tied at 99, Middleton put the Bucks up by two with a smooth jumper from the left elbow and Giannis Antetokounmpo blocked Deandre Ayton on a lob at the other end.

Booker reached 40 points to tie the game at 97, answering Connaughton's corner 3 at the other end.


Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks. Chris Paul had 10 points, seven assists and five turnovers. Ayton had six points and 17 rebounds for Phoenix.

A trailing Antetokounmpo secured Jrue Holiday's miss, on which Booker appeared to make enough contact to be called for his sixth personal foul, and dropped in an easy two that made it 95-94 with 3:30 remaining.

Booker went to the bench when he was whistled for his fifth foul on an aggressive boxout of P.J. Tucker with 10:47 left in the game and returned at the 5:55 mark.

As the Bucks tried three different defenders in front of him, Booker scored 18 in the third quarter and made all seven of his shot attempts.

Ragged execution and stagnant offense - one field goal in its first 10 second-half attempts -- threatened to erase Milwaukee from the picture in the third. But Phoenix turnovers kept the game within reach for the Bucks, even as the Suns surged on a 9-3 run to end the period.

Booker had a game-high 20 points in the first half on 8-of-15 shooting, and Middleton led Milwaukee with 16. The game was tied at 52-all.

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