Milwaukee Bucks 123, Boston Celtics 102
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
Special to Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 of his 29 points in the third quarter and the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks pulled away for a 123-102 victory over the Boston Celtics to even the Eastern Conference semifinal at one game apiece.
Game 3 is Friday night in Boston.
Antetokounmpo opened the series Sunday in a 22-point loss by shooting 7 of 21 while constantly getting bottled up in the paint by Boston defenders. On Tuesday, he was 3 of 8 in a closely contested first half that ended with Milwaukee holding a four-point lead before things changed drastically in the third.
The Bucks dominated the third by outscoring the Celtics 39-18 and ended the period with an impressive 24-2 run over the final 7:06.
Antetokounmpo keyed the clinching run by hitting four free throws, a pair of 3-pointers and a tip-in. He exited to a standing ovation with 2:17 left, and Eric Bledsoe scored the final six points to push the lead to 98-73 going into the fourth.
Antetokounmpo returned with 8:59 left and by then Milwaukee held a 30-point lead. He checked out for the rest of the game nearly two minutes later with Milwaukee up by 28.
Antetokounmpo shot 7 of 16 from the field and made 13 of 18 free throws. He also added 10 rebounds and four assists.
Khris Middleton helped Milwaukee overcome some early sluggishness by scoring 20 of his playoff career-high 28 points before halftime, and he went 7 for 10 on 3-pointers for the game.
Bledsoe added 21 as Milwaukee set a team postseason record by hitting 20 3-pointers. Bledsoe and Middleton were a combined 10 of 15 from behind the arc.
Marcus Morris led the Celtics with 17 points and Jaylen Brown added 16. Horford finished with 15 but Kyrie Irving missed his first seven shots and was held to nine points on 4-of-18 shooting.
It was the second time Irving was held under 10 points in a playoff game.
The Celtics lost their first postseason game and were within 74-71 on a jumper by Morris before collapsing. They finished the third by missing 11 of 12 shots and committing six turnovers as Milwaukee surged ahead and essentially sealed the game.
–Field Level Media