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Sunday’s NBA doubleheader produced the first conference finalist in this year’s playoffs, but the big news came out of Milwaukee. Not only did the Bucks knock down 16 3-pointers and even the series at 2-all, but the Nets watched another member of their “big three” go down due to injury. Phoenix finished off Denver in the nightcap, and there’s a chance that Utah will have its starting point guard back for Monday’s Game 4 against the Clippers. Let’s get into the Daily Dose.

Bucks 107, Nets 96: Milwaukee pulls even and Brooklyn loses another star

There’s nothing like some good home cooking and, after struggling mightily in the first two games of the series, the Bucks managed to take care of business in Games 3 and 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (34/12/3/0/1 with one 3-pointer) shot 14-of-26 from the field, which helped make up for shoddy numbers from the foul line (5-of-10) and from three (1-of-5). But the big story in this one was the sprained right ankle suffered by Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11/5/2/1/1 with one 3-pointer in 17 minutes) during the second quarter. The good news is that the X-rays came back negative, but the bad news is that there’s no clue as to whether or not Irving will be available for Tuesday’s Game 5.

With James Harden still dealing with his hamstring injury, the Nets could be down two of their most important players. While Nets coach Steve Nash said before the game that Harden has been doing some on-court work, following the loss he made it clear that The Beard will not be rushed back to game action. That puts even more pressure on Kevin Durant, who finished with a line of 28 points (9-of-25 FGs, 9-of-10 FTs), 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 42 minutes. There’s no doubt that Durant can pick up the slack as a scorer. But can he do it as a facilitator? The answer could very well determine this series if Harden and Irving aren’t healthy enough to play.

Also problematic for Brooklyn in Game 4 was the fact that they didn’t get much offensively from the supporting cast. Joe Harris (8/4/1 with two 3-pointers) shot a combined 4-of-19 from the field in Games 3 and 4, and the Nets will need to see their veteran sharpshooter return to form Tuesday night. Blake Griffin (8/5/3/1 with one 3-pointer) wasn’t much better, going a combined 5-of-13, while the contributions from players such as Bruce Brown (7/1/2/1) and Mike James (5/3/1/1 with one 3-pointers) were minimal. The lone piece of positive news for Brooklyn was the return of Jeff Green, who played 27 minutes off the bench and finished with eight points, five rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer. His being able to play that many minutes after missing more than two weeks due to injury is good news for the Nets.

Milwaukee’s offense was far more balanced, with four Bucks joining the aforementioned Antetokounmpo in double figures. Khris Middleton (19/4/8/2/2 with three 3-pointers) shot 7-of-15 from the field as he recorded a full line, while P.J. Tucker (13/7/1/1 with three 3-pointers) had his best offensive game of the series. Also scoring in double figures were Jrue Holiday (14/3/9 with two 3-pointers) and Bryn Forbes (10/1/1 with two 3-pointers), while Brook Lopez (6/11/1/3 with two 3-pointers) finished second to Antetokounmpo in the rebounds department.

Compared the Brooklyn the Bucks got through Sunday’s game relatively unscathed health-wise, with Pat Connaughton leaving the game briefly after suffering a cut over his left eye. Connaugton was able to return and ultimately played 22 minutes, recording a full line of eight points, two rebounds, three assists, four steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers.

Suns 125, Nuggets 118: Jokic ejected as Nuggets get swept

Denver entered Sunday’s Game 4 facing an uphill battle, as no team in NBA history has ever erased a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Things got even tougher during the third quarter when a frustrated Nikola Jokic (22/11/4/0/1 with one 3-pointer in 28 minutes) swiped down on Sunday guard Cameron Payne. While the MVP did get the ball he also got Payne’s face, and as a result he was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game. To the Nuggets’ credit they didn’t fold at that point, cutting the deficit to as few as five points. But they lacked the horses to get over the hump, which was essentially the theme for this series.

Chris Paul (37/3/7/2) and Devin Booker (34/11/4/1 with two 3-pointers) once again dominated the matchup on the perimeter, with the former putting together yet another mid-range masterclass. Paul also made some personal history, moving past Isiah Thomas into 13th place on the NBA’s career playoff assists list. All five Suns starters played at least 34 minutes, which comes as no surprise given the fact that this was a closeout game. Mikal Bridges (14/6/2/1/1) and Deandre Ayton (12/7/0/1/1) also scored in double figures, while Jae Crowder (9/10/1/0/4 with two 3-pointers) blocked four shots.

Entering Sunday, he had just one rejection in the first three games of the series. That being said, it’s worth noting that Crowder averaged 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game in the first round. Whenever the Suns begin the Western Conference Finals, some low-end value can be had there.

Denver made two changes to its starting lineup ahead of Game 4, with Facundo Campazzo (14/0/2 with four 3-pointers) and Austin Rivers (5/1/2 with one 3-pointer) being benched. Monte Morris and Will Barton were promoted into the starting five, and both played well Sunday night. Morris shot 8-of-15 from the field, finishing with 19 points, six assists and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. As for Barton, the minutes restriction that he had in Game 3 after returning from a groin injury was gone. He played 39 minutes, recording a line of 25 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and three 3-pointers. Michael Porter Jr., who struggled for much of this series, added 20 points, four rebounds, three steals, one block and three 3-pointers while shooting 7-of-16 from the field.

Aaro Gordon (8/6/4/1) once again struggled offensively, while JaVale McGee (5/7/2/0/1) gave the Nuggets some valuable contributions after Jokic was ejected. The many injuries that Denver had to deal with took their toll, but this result was more about a Phoenix team that is playing the best basketball of any team still in the postseason. With an eye towards the offseason, Barton and JaMychal Green have player options for next season, while Rivers, McGee and Paul Millsap will all be unrestricted free agents. Getting Jamal Murray (torn ACL) back to full strength is obviously a major key for Denver, and they’ll need to get better behind him as well.

Conley (right hamstring) questionable for Monday

Utah’s backcourt has been a bit banged up recently, but you probably knew that. While Donovan Mitchell has played through a right ankle issue that he aggravated during Saturday’s Game 3 loss to the Clippers, Mike Conley has yet to appear in a game this series due to a strained right hamstring. There’s apparently a chance that he’ll be able to play Monday night, as Conley was listed as questionable on Sunday’s final injury report. Utah didn’t wait to rule him out in any of the first three games of this series, so DFS players may not have to wait until close to tip-off for an answer there. Obviously, if Conley isn’t cleared to play Joe Ingles will remain in the starting lineup. The aforementioned Mitchell was not listed on the injury report.

As for Monday’s other matchup, Joel Embiid (right knee, small lateral meniscus tear) is once again listed as questionable. Given the minutes that he’s logged in the first three games of the 76ers’ series against the Hawks, and how effective he’s been, Embiid should be good to go Monday night. Danny Green (right calf strain) is out, and the same goes for Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness). Reddish still hasn’t done any 5-on-5 work, and until that changes, he’s highly unlikely to be cleared to play.