The Milwaukee Bucks regained their lead in the series against the Boston Celtics. With a dramatic victory of 110-107, the reigning champion is now just one victory away from reaching the conference final.
Boston led for most of the game and was up 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics were unable to end the game. This was secured on the one hand by the excellent Giannis Antetokounmpo (40 points, 16/27 FG, 11 rebounds, 7 turnovers) and on the other hand by several great games in the last minute.
Jrue Holiday (24 points, 9/24, 8 rebounds, 8 assists) denied the Celtics their last two chances to score points with a block and a theft against Marcus Smart at the last minute. Bobby Portis (14, 15 rebounds) had previously secured his team the lead with a putback.
In the end, it did not help the Celtics that Jayson Tatum (34, 12/29) and Jaylen Brown (26, 9/19, 8 rebounds, 6 assists) showed strong performances, or that Daniel Theis (11, 5/5) double-digit score. Boston is now battling elimination in Game 6 of Milwaukee.
Robert Williams is out with the Celtics
The Celtics were without Robert Williams in the match, which again struggled with knee problems – Grant Williams started for him. The usual quintet started with the Bucks.
Both teams initially took mainly threes, 13 of the first 18 attempts at throws came from the perimeter. Brown tried instead sometimes with a baseline can, then Tatum followed up from the middle distance. Holiday, on the other hand, held back, after a jumper from the guard led Milwaukee 19:14. Theis entered the field and was found under the basket several times for 6 points, it was 28:26 bucks after a quarter.
Tatum took control with 7 quick points, then came support from White in the transition. Giannis tried to counter that, but the Bucks lost the ball too much in this phase and Holiday was blocked twice. Brown put up +9, then followed up with even free throws and fed Tatum an alley-oop in the transition. At -13, Budenholzer called time-out, which lost some of the Celtics rhythm. Giannis remained tireless, 15 of the 19 Bucks points in the round came from the Greek. Nevertheless, Boston took a 54:47 lead into the locker room.
Incredible vacation plays sure Milwaukee victory
In the third quarter, the hosts got off to a shaky start and Milwaukee were quickly back on 3 points after a holiday triangle after an offensive rebound. Milwaukee dominated the boards in this phase, but Boston had a hard time. After several successful drives, Smart reached +6 with a three, and a little later Brown followed up with a three for an 11-point lead. Smart and Brown carried their team in this round and went into the final quarter with 86:77.
This time, Boston came in better again, after a difficult fadeaway by Payton Pritchard, the score was 93-79. But they did not close the lid again. Milwaukee hit four threes, leaving a midrange jumper by Holiday within two points. Tatum acknowledged, Smart got an offensive error from Giannis – with two minutes left, Horford forcefully pushed a Brown miss through the trap. +6!
But still nothing was decided. After an offensive rebound, Giannis first struck a three, then Holiday followed up, and the match was a draw 37 seconds from the end. Giannis bled from the face after Connaughton caught him. Tatum made a mistake and got both freebies in his pocket, but that would be the last Celtics points.
Giannis also went to the line and missed the second – but Portis was there for the putback! With 11 seconds left, Holiday made an incredible block on Smart, catching the ball with one hand and Connaughton hitting two free throws at the other end. Instead of one last throw, Holiday was stolen. Buck’s Win!
The most important statistic
Boston Celtics (2) – Milwaukee Bucks (3) 107: 110 (BOXSCORE), Series: 2-3
- The Celtics took almost exactly half of their throws from the three-point line in the first half. They did not hit particularly well (6/21) – every time they tried to drive instead, it went much better. Of their 22 toes, the proud 15 hit, Milwaukee’s rim protection did not work at the usual level. This picture continued throughout the game (10/31 threes, 32/51 threes) – every time Boston searched the drive, there were good results.
- Milwaukee was long weaker from downtown. They sank only seven threes during the first three quarters before exploding in the fourth round. Eventually it was 13/29, even Giannis lowered two triples in the final quarter.
- The Bucks made 9 turnovers in the first half, which Boston used again and again to score quick points. Especially smart showed up everywhere and regularly messed up the Bucks. On the other hand, the Celtics were flawless for a long time and only gave the ball twice before the break. In the third quarter, however, the shot turned slightly, eventually it was “only” 10:13 to the Bucks’ disadvantage in ball loss.
- Due to the few ball losses, Milwaukee largely did not take place in the transition. Only 7 quick break-points were noted for the visitors, in fact far too few for perhaps the best transfer team in the league.
- At times, Milwaukee felt it was only in the game with Giannis and good rebound work. Lack of boxouts was the only weakness of the Celtics defense, the Bucks snatched 17 offensive rebounds (Boston: 5). It was no coincidence that Portis scored the quasi-game winner with a putback.
Celtics vs. Bucks: The Voice of the Game
Marcus Smart (Celtics): “If we box out, we win the fight. They are the reigning champion. They have made some championship games. Now we have to fight back.”
Jrue Holiday (Bucks): “Obviously, when you’re down by 14 in the last quarter of Boston, people would say everything’s against us. But we stick together. That’s how we live, and that’s how we die.”
Mike Budenholzer (Bucks Coach): “He’s a winner. Jrue is a winner. You can ask any player or coach in this league.”
Game star: Jrue Holiday
For a long time, Holiday aggressively collected arguments for flop status, his isolation often did not work at all, only 5 of his 17 twos found their goal. But it can go so fast: In crunchy times, not only did the three fall, Jrue also had the two biggest defensive actions in a game filled with defensive actions. The game lasts only 48 minutes! Speaking of which, for the vast majority of this match, of course, it was Giannis who kept his team inside the game and conjured up another masterpiece.
Game flop: Marcus Smart
The reverse holiday. In 47 minutes, Smart played a fantastic match, was effective, made good decisions, was defensive everywhere. He then missed his team’s last two chances to counter-attack – and he failed to hold the ball just before the Portis putback. What a bitter achievement.
There were many candidates, but only one answer. Smart drew baseline and went to layup, Holiday not only blocked the attempt – he caught it with one hand and preserved ball possession by throwing it wide at Smart, who bounced the ball wide. What a sensational game!
Celtics vs. Bucks: Series overview
|1||May 1||at 19||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||89: 101|
|2||May 4||1 o’clock||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||109: 86|
|3||May 7||21.30||Milwaukee Bucks||Boston Celtics||103: 101|
|4||May 10||1:30||Milwaukee Bucks||Boston Celtics||108: 116|
|5||May 12||1 o’clock||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||107: 110|
|6||May 14||1:30||Milwaukee Bucks||Boston Celtics||–|
|7 *||May 16||TBD||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||–|