One Win From Orlando 04.29.10 - 05:08pm
by Joseph Merkel
In just three games, Jerry Stackhouse and the Milwaukee Bucks have gone from fading fast to upstart on the brink.
Stack drilled five clutch free throws and the Bucks erased a nine-point deficit with 4:10 left on Wednesday night to defeat the Atlanta Hawks, 91-87, in Game 5 of their first round best-of-seven series. The Bucks now lead the series 3-2 with a chance to clinch the series in Milwaukee on Friday.
The Bucks responded to the nine-point deficit with an unbelievable 14-0 run over the next three minutes and 50 seconds. With 19 seconds left and a five-point lead, the Bucks coasted to victory thanks to clutch free throws.
Stack provided five big points in 14 minutes and grabbed a pair of defensive rebounds.
Jerry's first two free throws came at the end of the first quarter as he and Brandon Jennings helped the Bucks finish off the first with four straight from the charity stripe to take a 24-23 lead after one.
No. 24 added another free throw late in the third that cut Atlanta's lead to 10 at 69-59 then helped the Bucks to close the gap with two more big ones in the fourth.
But more important than Stack's individual numbers, the Bucks are now in position to win their first playoff series since 2001, one of Stack's goals ever since he arrived in Milwaukee in late January.
Stack is no stranger to elimination games, over his career, he has played in 18 of them winning 8 and dropping 10. In those 18 games, No. 24's scoring average is 14.3 points per game.
With a huge Game 5 victory in Atlanta, the Bucks will have a chance to clinch at home in front of their fans in the Bradley Center.
The Hawks-Bucks match-up is the only Eastern Conference playoff series to go to a Game 6. All three other underdogs failed to win even two games, no less challenge to win the series
Now that the Bucks hold a commanding 3-2 victory, you can see them try to clinch the second round on Friday night at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks (ESPN, April 28, 2010) http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300428001