Middleton Madness lifting Bucks as series turns to Phoenix

There’s a meme online called the “Cycle of Khris Middleton.” Middleton’s face is in the center of an array of text boxes encircling his photo. It goes like this: Middleton plays sub-par, he gets criticized, starts to play better, becomes underrated, turns into Michael Jordan, and then cycles back to sub-par.

He has gone through stretches that go from amazing to frustrating, but Game 4 was nothing short of amazing for Middleton.

Middleton scored 40 points on 45 percent shooting, including 10 straight points in the final two minutes to close it out for Milwaukee. It’s the first time he’s dropped 40 in a playoff game, and it came on a night when the team as a whole shot just 40 percent. The Middleton Madness looked to have arrived at exactly the right time.

“We just ran sets that enabled me to get to my spots,” Middleton said after the Game 4 win. “After that I just have to make reads, whether it’s to shoot, find the open guy, Giannis on the roll. It’s just reading the defense at that point. Luckily, thankfully, I hit some shots.”

“That’s what he does down the stretch,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “We want him to have the ball, want him to be the decision maker. We know he’s going to take big shots and make big shots.”

The NBA Finals is tied 2-2. Game 5 is Saturday at 8 p.m.