Boston at Milwaukee
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe says he doesn’t know who Terry Rozier is, so it might be time for him to check the scouting report. Rozier fueled Boston to victories in the first two games of the Eastern Conference first-round series and the Celtics look to take a 3-0 lead when the series moves to Milwaukee on Friday.
The unsung Rozier is in the staring lineup due to Kyrie Irving’s season-ending knee injury and he torched the Bucks for 23 points in each of the first two games and has yet to commit a turnover. Meanwhile, Bledsoe is averaging just 10.5 points on 9-of-25 shooting and making three turnovers per game and wasn’t thrilled when asked about Rozier after a 120-106 loss in Game 2, saying “I don’t even know who the (expletive) that is.” Celtics coach Brad Stevens took the high road Wednesday when asked about the comment by saying, “I mean, I heard that. Our team is just focused on Game 3.” Milwaukee lost in the first round in its past seven postseason appearances and it last prevailed in 2001, when it reached the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Boston, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Second-year shooting guard Jaylen Brown is also lighting up the Bucks as he made five 3-pointers while scoring 30 points in Game 2 and is averaging 25 in the series. “Ultimately, we just want to win games, so that’s the only thing that we are concerned with,” Brown told reporters after his big outing. “We are confident as ever. Teams have been writing us off all year and we just keep proving people wrong, so that’s what we’re going to do.” Power forwards Al Horford and Marcus Morris are also off to strong starts in the series with Horford averaging 20 points and 8.5 rebounds and Morris coming off the bench to average 19.5 points and six boards.
ABOUT THE BUCKS: Forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo (32.5 points, 11 rebounds, 7.5 assists) and Khris Middleton (28 points, six rebounds) have been superb in the series but haven’t received much help from the supporting cast. “We got to play better,” Antetokounmpo said. “We got to play with more effort. I think as a team we didn’t show up (Tuesday). Hopefully we can go back home and protect our home and play better and get those two wins.” Second-year guard Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 13 points in the series but played just 19 minutes in Game 2 despite being 5-of-7 shooting while scoring 10 points.
1. The Celtics made 13 3-pointers in Game 2 after knocking down 11 in the opener.
2. Boston SF Jayson Tatum had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting in Game 2 after scoring 19 in the opener.
3. Milwaukee backup PF Jabari Parker has just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in the series.