MILWAUKEE -- Teams don't become NBA Finals contenders overnight. The same goes for players developing into All-Stars and league MVPs. Making those kinds of gains, and reaching that kind of rarified air, takes time and pain, sweat and tears.

For Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the past eight years have seen them turn the Milwaukee Bucks into one of the NBA's elite teams, and themselves into some of the game's elite players. And it was the weight of all of those shared experiences that, with Milwaukee's season on the line Wednesday night, helped the Bucks' franchise cornerstones save the day.

Behind 40 points from Middleton, including 10 straight points over the final 2:07 to put the Bucks ahead for good, and Antetokounmpo's unbelievable block of Deandre Ayton at the rim to preserve a two-point lead with 74 seconds to go, Milwaukee survived an instant classic in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, winning 109-103 over the visiting Phoenix Suns to even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

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This is now their 12th playoff series together, and Wednesday marked the 62nd time they shared the court together in the postseason.

Game five coverage on ESPN 99.1 will be Saturday at 7:00 PM.

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