The Celtics recover after falling 13 points in the fourth quarter, but lose 103-101 in the thrilling final
A really exciting match that Milwaukee seemed to have in its pungent is resolved only in the final. The Bucks manage to survive after having wasted an advantage of 13 lengths in the fourth period, and despite a Tatum in great difficulty 4/19 shooting, they find success thanks to a final full of emotions that rewards the reigning champions. Giannis (42 points and 12 rebounds) and teammates win 103-101 and thus lead 2-1 in the series.
Tatum in trouble
The Celtics recover an important pawn like Smart, coach Budenholzer instead decides to shuffle the cards and starts Allen in the quintet, bringing Portis back to the bench. The defenses have the better of the attacks for long periods, Milwaukee starts better but struggles to find continuity from long distance. On the other hand, Tatum is inaccurate but Boston with Brown’s points remains in the wake. Antetokounmpo when he attacks the basket is as usual unstoppable and also fails a couple of layups but the Bucks do not take off. The visiting team remains in the slipstream thanks to their defense and despite scoring only 19 points at the end of the first quarter, they are only three points behind. The long-distance percentages do not improve for both teams even in the second period, Milwaukee finds the points of an excellent Lopez who, however, has to live with problems of fouls. Tatum fails to get back on track and Giannis remains reliable in the painted area, a little less from the perimeter. Boston accelerates in the final part of the first half and with the points of Horford resumes Milwaukee. Giannis and Lopez are seen whistling their third foul (same fate for Smart) in the Cesarini area of the first half and Boston with a swipe of the tail changes the perspectives of the first half by realizing the last seven points of the second period to get to the rest ahead 50-46. The Bucks in the first half shoot with a bad 3/18 from long range, Boston does not do much better with his 4/18 but for the Celtics to be ahead by four points by shooting so badly from three and with Tatum doing 2/9 is lots of stuff.
Ready away and Lopez immediately commits his fourth foul which forces him to return to the bench. No problem, Giannis takes care of it. The Greek accelerates and the Celtics find no answers. Milwaukee plays its best basketball, starts to find some rhythm from long range and takes control of operations. Who, on the other hand, just fails to take the pace from the field is an unrecognizable Tatum, Giannis pushes the reigning champions to the partial 12-2 that gives Milwaukee the double-digit advantage. Holiday is ready when Antetokounmpo goes to the bench to catch his breath, the Bucks stretch and at the end of the third quarter they are ahead 80-67, while Tatum shoots with 3/17 from the field. After a very ugly third quarter, the attack from Boston lights up at the opening of the final fraction thanks to the plays of Brown. Milwaukee’s empty pass allows the visitors to come back down with a 9-2 break. Even without Tatum’s contribution, the Celtics are back in the slipstream. A very hot Horford becomes the second offensive option after Brown and the attack in Boston finds excellent solutions, the guests thus resume Milwaukee and with Brown’s free return in front of 1’49 “from the siren. Giannis and a crazy play by Holiday, however, chase away the ghosts of the Bucks. The reigning champions return to +3 to 11 “from the siren but the final seconds give incredible emotions. Smart goes to the line for two free throws, scores the first, deliberately misses the second and a bit of everything happens under the basket, Horford in the end produces what looks like the tap in of the draw but the replay makes it clear that the touch of the Boston player arrives Out of time. A sigh of relief for Milwaukee who thus brings home the truly incredible match.
Milwaukee: Antetokounmpo 42 (15/24, 1/6, 9/12 tl), Holiday 25, Lopez 13. Rebounds: Antetokounmpo 12. Assist: Antetokounmpo 8.
Boston: Brown 27 (7/11, 1/5, 10/11 tl), Horford 22, White 14. Rebounds: Horford 16. Assist: Horford 5.
May 8 – 01:01
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