Published: Mon, April 23, 2018

Giannis Antetokounmpo converts clutch tip-in to beat Celtics

Giannis Antetokounmpo converts clutch tip-in to beat Celtics

In the second half, the Celtics scored 67 points and actually took the lead with under a minute to play.

Antetokounmpo led all Bucks scorers with 27 points on 60 percent shooting from the field, to go along with seven rebounds and five assists.

The Bucks started the fourth with a 75-67 lead but the Celtics came out firing with a 10-2 run, to erase a 20-point deficit and tie things up at 77-77 with 8:58 to play.

And so now the series heads back to Boston, and both squads are probably asking themselves the same question - which Celtics squad will show up?

Heading into this year's playoffs, the Boston Celtics have the daunting task of trying to make up for the massive offensive void left by All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. But they mounted a ridiculous comeback, which allowed for the game to come down to the final play.

The ABC microphones later caught Celtics coach Brad Stevens admonishing his team for losing "our minds". "I think one of the most important thing we can carry on from this game and move forward is that we stayed disciplined and we trusted one another down the stretch". The C's could switch and hedge-and-recover, with no fear of a major mismatch, on every pick-and-roll in which Antetokounmpo was involved. Milwaukee's bench outscored Boston 31-15 and was frankly the difference in this game.

After scoring 14 points with five rebounds and five blocks in Game 2, Maker had eight points, two rebounds and five blocks Sunday. This one was a bit more accidental, but similarly effective. We played great in the first six minutes of the game.

The other is that the Bucks hit the C's with their best punch, on their home court, and still almost blew a 20-point lead.

After the game, Brogdon was appreciative of his teammate's effort and showered him with praise. And that they did, which threw massive kinks into Boston's offense.

One timeout and a Middleton block on Brown later, Brogdon took the lead back with a right corner 3-pointer for a 102-100 edge.

Boston must have recognized this effect in some form.

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, considered one of the best head coaches in the National Basketball Association when it comes to the "x's and o's", will need to counter the Bucks defensive strategy but it won't be easy.

Horford and Stevens stated after the game that those plays were not called specifically to negate Dellavedova's impact and contagious energy, but the results were undeniable. "We did a great job of not doing that in the second half though".

Horford running the point, and Ojeleye mirroring many of Maker's minutes, were two subtle adjustments that led to drastic improvement by Boston.

The series between the Celtics and Bucks has been tumultuous, a back-and-forth affair as an injury-riddled Boston squad takes on a healthy but offensively-sluggish Milwaukee team.

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