Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, May 3, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON– The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have traded blowout victories in the Eastern Conference semis as the scene switches to Boston for tonight’s important Game 3. The Celtics posted a resounding 112-90 road victory in Game 1 before the Bucks recovered to deliver a 123-102 thumping to the Cs in Game 2.
Boston point guard Kyrie Irving had just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting in the Game 2 loss and he indicated that he isn’t concerned about how badly his team was beaten.
“We’re playing against a great team. They’re No. 1 in the Eastern Conference for a reason,” Irving told reporters of the Bucks. “They finished the regular season strong, came out and did what they were supposed to do in the playoffs, and now it’s two great teams going against one another. I’ve been in too many battles going back and forth to get too high or too low.” Milwaukee drained a franchise playoff-record 20 3-pointers in Game 2 with All-Star small forward Khris Middleton making seven while scoring 28 points.
“I think one of our main things is playing with pace,” Middleton told reporters. “They’re a great defensive team once they get set. So the main thing for us is to try to get a stop and get out and run. And I was able to find open 3s and pull-up 3s with that.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT THE BUCKS: MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo had more influence in the outcome with 29 points and nine rebounds in Game 2 after being just 7-of-21 shooting while scoring 22 points in the series opener. Point guard Eric Bledsoe also played well with 21 points during a game Milwaukee led by as many as 31 points after being a non factor in the opener with six points on 1-of-5 shooting. “I think that’s more what we’re accustomed to seeing,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “I liked our spirit, our activity, our competitiveness all up and down the roster. Giannis and Khris and Bled really set a tone. We need to capture that, take it to Boston with us and play that way up there.”
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Irving played a solid all-around game in the opener when he recorded 26 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds but he never found his footing in the porous Game 2 performance. “This is what I signed up for. This is what Boston traded for me for,” Irving told reporters. “Being able to go back, get back in the trenches, get ready for another battle on Friday, that’s what you live for. Basketball is fun when it comes like this and you have to respond, and this is the type of basketball you want to be playing this time of year.” The Celtics would like to receive a better contribution from small forward Jayson Tatum, who is averaging just 4.5 points on 4-of-17 shooting in the series.
1. Celtics C Al Horford is averaging 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the series.
2. Milwaukee SG Malcolm Brogdon (foot) could be cleared to play for the first time since being injured on March 15.
3. Boston PF Marcus Morris scored a team-best 17 points in Game 2 and is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds in the series.