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As Giannis-less Bucks Capture Game 5, Platform For People With Disabilities Opens Outside Fiserv

Chuck Quirmbach
Bucks guard Jrue Holiday dribbles the ball during first half action Thursday night.

The Milwaukee Bucks did not have star player Giannis Antetokounmpo Thursday night. But his teammates performed well, and Milwaukee defeated the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

The score was 123-112. Milwaukee now leads the best of seven series 3 games to 2.

With Antetokounmpo sidelined by a knee injury, veteran center Brook Lopez led the Bucks with 33 points.

After the game Lopez told the news media that he's prepared for whatever's asked of him. "Obviously, no one can replace Giannis. He's a freakin' two time MVP — so much of what we do — and no one can replace him. It's a matter of everyone stepping up and I think everyone showed they're capable of doing that tonight," Lopez said.

Chuck Quirmbach
Injured player Giannis Antetokounmpo (at edge of court in gray sweatshirt and sweatpants) watches the game, along with other teammates.

Another star for the Bucks was veteran forward Bobby Portis, Jr., a fan favorite to the point where thousands in the Fiserv Forum often chant his name.

Portis told reporters after the win that part of his appeal is due to Milwaukee being what he calls "a tough city." "The city goes through a lot. So, when they see somebody that gives his all, work hard, you know, it's a blue-collar city, and I'm a blue-collar player. Whether my shots go in or not, I still give my all to the team," he said.

Outside the Fiserv Forum, thousands of fans again filled the plaza, and what's known as the Deer District.

Chuck Quirmbach
King Hall, (in orange sweatshirt) sits in his wheelchair, on a new platform built on Fiserv Plaza, for people with disabilities.

One person in a wheelchair, King Hall, made use of a new elevated platform provided by the Bucks. The Bucks set one up after being notified of the need by a local agency supporting people with disabilities, Independence First.

Hall said the platform helped him avoid the usual challenges of being in a tightly packed crowd and having to say, "Pardon me, excuse me, can I get past you?"

He said he just wishes the platform was closer to the video screen showing the Bucks game.

The team is urging fans to come back to the Deer District Saturday night to watch Game 6 of the series, which will be played in Atlanta. If the Bucks win that game, they will head to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. If the Bucks lose in Atlanta, they'll play the Hawks Monday night in Milwaukee in the last game of the conference finals.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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