BOSTON. The Milwaukee Bucks will go home with a shot at the Eastern Conference Finals after an impressive 110-107 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
14 points behind at the start of the fourth quarter, Bobby Portis and Jrue Holiday did the unthinkable in the final moments of the game to give the Bucks a 3-2 series lead over the Celtics.
First, Portis assisted three-pointers during the holiday and tied the game at 105 with 41 seconds left. Then, after Jason Tatum gave the Celtics a 107-105 lead with a pair of free throws with 31 seconds left, Portis came to the rescue of Giannis Antetokounmpo by recovering a missed free throw to make Milwaukee 108-107 in 11.4 seconds. left.
“He has a nose for the ball, he has a nose for scoring,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said of the loss. “It’s just a huge game.”
After the ensuing attack, Holiday literally snatched the ball out of Marcus Smart’s hands when the Boston defender attempted to shoot him, knocking him out of the air. This led to a timeout for the Bucks and two free throws from Pat Connaughton to make it 110–107 with five seconds left. Holiday then won by stealing the ball from Smart.
The Bucks came back fully from a 14-point deficit early in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 105–105 thanks to a 3-pointer by Jrue Holiday with 43.2 seconds left, with Bobby Portis hitting the game winner after an offensive rebound.
Game 6 will take place on the Fiserv Forum on Friday night.
Boxing SCORE:Bucks 110, Celtics 107
The Celtics extended their nine-point lead to 93-79 with 10 minutes and 16 seconds left, but several three-pointers from Holiday, Connaughton and Wesley Matthews set off a Bucks rally when they cut it to 101-99 with 4:08 left .
“To make up that difference, we had a few guys come in and play a few games,” Budenholzer said of that stretch. I think Grayson (Allen) played well in the quarter too. Everyone has contributed. Giannis hit a couple of triples. It takes a little bit of everything to turn the game around with 13 or 14 points. So we have to try not to put ourselves in that position and just play as hard as we can, and you’ll have to hit some shots, you’ll have to hit some threes and give credit to Grayson, PK and Wes for their game and making the shot.”
Boston seemed to have stopped the wave after Al Horford separated Antetokounmpo and Connaughton over missed jumper Jaylen Brown, making it 105–99 with 2:13 left.
But Antetokounmpo made three shots to get his team back in the game and then went down and stole the ball from Smart to set up Holiday’s heroism.
Antetokounmpo scored 40 points on 16-of-27 shooting and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Holiday scored 24 points on 9 of 24 shooting and had eight assists and rebounds, while Portis came off the bench and scored 14 points on 4 of 14 shooting. He also had 15 rebounds. Connaughton added 13 from the bench.
Tatum led the Celtics with 34 points on 12-of-29 shooting while Brown had 26. Smart finished with 15, with Daniel Theis (11) and Derchik White (nine) sparking off the bench. Horford was limited to eight points on 4 of 7 shots.
For about 4.5 minutes, the Bucks hustled offensively and rotated furiously defensively, scoring a couple of triples, gradually reducing a seven-point halftime deficit to one — only to see the Celtics finish the third quarter with streaks. 11-4 and 10-2 to lead by as many as a dozen before eventually taking an 86-77 lead in the fourth quarter.
Brown went 6-of-10 from the field – including a few tough shots – to score 16 points and keep the Bucks at arm’s length. The Celtics countered the Bucks’ pressure to keep the visitors from getting ahead, and Tatum and Brown scored their own misses twice to quell the Bucks’ momentum.
As the quarter progressed, Boston timed Smart and Theis in addition to Brown, and it took Antetokounmpo five points in the last 65 seconds for the Celtics not to run away with him at that point.
Milwaukee started the game by making 3 of their first 4 3-pointers in the first two minutes of play, but then went 1 of 12 for the rest of the half as Boston led 54–47 at halftime.
The Celtics also scored 11 points after nine losses to the Bucks, while only outbidding them twice as they lead by a whopping 13 points in the first half. Antetokounmpo scored 19 points for the Bucks while Holiday added nine, but the other six players who saw time on the court totaled just 19 points.
And after starting the game 3-of-4, Holiday missed his last five shots in the first half for Milwaukee.
It’s a different story for the Celtics, who scored 16 points from Tatum, but Derrick White and Daniel Theis each scored nine points off the bench.
Balanced scores and ball movement (14 assists in 21 baskets) helped the Celtics go 7-0 and 11-0 in the second quarter to take control of the half after the Bucks had a 28-26 lead after the first quarter. Early threes helped Milwaukee to a seven-point lead and they maintained a slight lead on the scoreboard through the first 12 minutes, but the game changed in the second quarter when White and Theis played a pivotal role for the Celtics in the second.
Chris Middleton injury news: Bucks forward makes progress
Chris Middleton remained a spectator with a left knee injury during games as the Bucks progressed in the series against the Celtics, but he has been able to get on the court in recent days.
“We’re happy with where he’s at and we’re optimistic,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said ahead of Wednesday’s game. “But, you know, this is the same update that has been for the last few days.”
Middleton sprained his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his second game against Chicago in the first round on April 20. He was immediately eliminated from the first four games of the Boston Series, but Budenholzer did not do so until the end of the series. against the Celtics. The sixth game will take place on Friday in Milwaukee. If game 7 is needed, it will be on Sunday.
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