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MILWAUKEE -- It isn’t a question of whether the Milwaukee Bucks can win their opening-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls.

The Bucks are down 3-0 in the series and never, repeat never, has an NBA team overcome such a deficit to win a series.

Considering the Bucks have played the Bulls seven times this season, and lost six of them, don’t expect the Bucks to become history-makers.

So, the question is: Can the Bucks avoid being swept by winning Saturday afternoon's game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center? 

Coming off an emotionally and physically draining 113-106 double-overtime loss Thursday night, and knowing the insurmountable odds they're facing, the Bucks fully realize their work is cut out.

“This was a big letdown; it’s a game we could have won,’’ Bucks center John Henson said after Game 3 when he scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

“It’ll be interesting to see how we come out for Game 4. We want to show our pride. Nobody wants to get swept.’’

No big deal

Next to Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook is there a player in the NBA who plays with more energy than Jimmy Butler?

Butler, the former Marquette University standout, constantly plays a frenetic pace and seemingly never gets fatigued.

After Butler played a game-high 53 minutes in Game 3, he was asked if he was tired.

“No, I’m not tired,’’ Butler said. “I’ve played longer games.’’

Butler, of course, is used to playing major minutes. During the regular season, he averaged a league-high 38.7 minutes a game. In the three playoff games, he’s averaging 44.7 minutes, second only to Washington Bradley Beal’s 45.

Off the mark

While Khris Middleton is averaging 19.3 points a game in the playoffs, he isn’t shooting the ball well. He was 6 of 17 from the field in Game 3 and is shooting 38.9 for the series.

Another Bucks starter who hasn’t shot the ball well is Giannis Antekounmpo, who has connected on just 34.8 percent from the field.

Antekounmpo, who was virtually a no-show in the first two games, showed up in a big way for Game 3, connecting on 10 of 22 shots en route to a 25-point outing.

Encouraging news

While the focus these days for Bucks fans has been on the playoffs, negotiations continue concerning a new state-of-the-art  arena in downtown Milwaukee.

Three individuals who are keenly aware of the arena discussions all told me in the last two days they are convinced a deal will get done.

Final word

Bulls center Joakim Noah after the Bulls' prevailed in Thursday night's 2-hour, 42-minute marathon: “It’s always good to win games like this. I can’t imagine how that other locker room feels right now.’’

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