Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, May 6, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Milwaukee Bucks insisted after a lopsided loss in Game 1 that they didn’t need to make any drastic changes and just needed to increase the aggressiveness and execution, and it turned out they were right. The Bucks will try to take a 3-1 lead in the series when they visit the Boston Celtics for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals tonight.
Milwaukee showed off that aggressiveness in Game 3 with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo repeatedly crashing the paint, resulting in 22 free-throw attempts. “I’m just going to keep being aggressive,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “That’s what my teammates want me to do. I love getting to the free-throw line. I’ve worked on it. I’m shooting my free throws with confidence, so it’s easy points for me and my teammates. I’m just going to keep being aggressive and making the right plays, and sometimes if I’ve got to take it all the way, then I’ll take it all the way.”
The Celtics were not so fond of the way the game was being called and voiced their displease after the 123-116 setback, which dropped Boston to 12-2 at home in the last two postseasons. “Guy comes down almost six times in a row and gets free throws,” Boston point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters. “What are you really going to do? It’s slowing the game down. The run that you would hope to make in a quarter like that doesn’t happen. I mean, he shot 22 on the game. It’s getting ridiculous at this point. It’s just slowing the (expletive) game down.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE BUCKS: Antetokounmpo led the way in Game 3 with 32 points on 8-of-13 shooting (16-of-22 from the free-throw line) but it was the supporting cast that pushed Milwaukee over the edge. Shooting guard Pat Connaughton scored 14 points and George Hill led the “Bench Mob” with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 29 minutes. “On the road, in this environment, that’s when coaches talk about needing guys who have experience, that have been there and that understand what it takes,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “George in his performance tonight is the prime example of that.”
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Irving scored 26 points on 12-of-21 shooting in a 112-90 win in Game 1 but went a combined 12-of-40 from the floor in Games 2 and 3, including 3-of-13 from 3-point range. “I need to just keep my eyes on the rim and just be efficient in that paint area,” Irving told reporters. “… It’s really just about being efficient, especially the rest of this series. From this point on, I don’t think you’ll see another 8-for-22 or any missed layups or looking for the refs for calls or anything like that. … When I do get in there, I’m looking to score and looking to finish with contact, whether the refs call it or not.” Small forward Gordon Hayward is enduring similar struggles and is 3-of-13 from the floor in the last two games.
- Celtics G Marcus Smart (oblique) is expected to participate in practice on Sunday but remains questionable for Monday.
- Bucks G Malcolm Brogdon (foot) is working out and is questionable for Game 4.
- Milwaukee SF Khris Middleton is 13-of-20 from 3-point range in the series.