Bucks Hawks Basketball

Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) shoots next to Milwaukee Bucks center Bobby Portis (9) during the first half of Game 6 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (CBS46) -- It was close for a half, but a 44-point 3rd quarter was the final nail in the coffin for an Atlanta Hawks season that far exceeded expectations.

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Hawks 118-107 to win the Eastern Conference Finals in 6 games 4-2. The Bucks advance to the NBA Finals to take on the Phoenix Suns starting next week.

After a sluggish first half for both teams, the Bucks exploded out of the gates in that pivotal 3rd quarter, led by Khris Middleton who scored 23 points in the quarter alone. Middleton finished the game with 32 points.

The Hawks made it interesting in the 4th quarter, cutting the Bucks lead from 22 down to seven, but ultimately, it was just too big of a hill to climb.

The Bucks played their second straight game without two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and for the second straight game, his teammates stepped up. Jrue Holiday had another complete game, racking up 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Hawks star Trae Young returned for Game 6, but was visibly hobbled throughout the game, lacking the explosiveness and ability we've seen throughout this playoff run. Young finished with just 14 points.

The Hawks were led offensively by Cam Reddish, who scored a team-high 21 points. Reddish played increased minutes in place of Kevin Huerter who struggled from the field the entire night.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20 points for the Hawks.

The season comes to an end for the Hawks, who were playing in the Eastern Conference Finals for just the second time in team history. 

The Hawks will technically be looking for a head coach in the offseason, as interim head coach Nate McMillan has not been given the full-time gig yet. That said, it would be surprising if he isn't given the job after this playoff performance.

As for the Hawks roster, there will be two big questions this offseason. First and foremost, John Collins. Collins is a restricted free agent and is sure to receive major interest from teams across the NBA. He will likely get a big offer somewhere and it will be up to the Hawks to match it if they want to keep him around.

Meanwhile, veteran guard Lou Williams will be an unrestricted free agent. Williams played as Young's primary backup this year, including a starting role for two games in the playoffs when Young was out with his injured foot.

The Bucks head to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974.

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