All season long, the Boston Celtics won games on the strength of their NBA-best defense while getting just enough clutch scoring from an attack led by All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. With a knee injury knocking Irving out for the playoffs, the C’s have had to lean even more heavily on the other end of the floor in a first-round matchup with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, who swung the pendulum in their direction at home in Wisconsin to even the series at two games apiece ahead of a pivotal Game 5 back in Boston on Tuesday night. This time, it was Boston that got the better of the run of play late — and the benefit of a controversial late-game call — to score a 92-87 win and take a 3-2 lead in the hotly contested series.
Marcus Smart returned to the Boston Celtics after suffering a thumb injury earlier in the year, and boy was it just in time. The Celtics guard came off the bench, doing what he does best: attacking opposing guards, grabbing rebounds, and making hustle plays for his squad. Smart thoroughly annoyed the Milwaukee Bucks, and as Giannis Antetokounmpo failed to make a push in the second half (and as Khris Middleton‘s shooting slowly deteriorated) it was Boston who came out with a win in Game 5, 92-87.
• With Meek Mill and Kevin Hart sitting courtside (see story), the Sixers took over the game in the third quarter and fended off a late Heat run. The teams were tied, 46-46, at halftime before the Sixers outscored the Heat 34-20 over the next 12 minutes. The Heat wouldn't go away, though.
Al Horford scored 22 points as the Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 92-87 to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series. Horford finished with 14 rebounds and three assists after the Celtics built an early first quarter lead before holding on to claim a vital win at the TD Garden. The injury-plagued Celtics now have the opportunity to clinch the NBA Eastern Conference first round series in game six in Milwaukee on Thursday.
BOSTON –Entering the game with 4:06 to play in the first quarter, Marcus Smart was greeted by a loud applause. Al Horford had a double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds with Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier chipping in with 14 and 16 points, respectively.
Al Horford scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the host Boston Celtics take a 3-2 series lead with a 92-87 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. Terry Rozier added 16 points, Jaylen Brown had 14 and Marcus Morris had 10 for the Celtics, who can clinch the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with a win in Game 6 on Thursday in Milwaukee. Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 23 points while Jabari Parker had 17 and both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe scored 16.
It’s a series that has hinged on defense — Boston has played it well for the majority of five games, bottling up Milwaukee in the halfcourt. The Bucks only played it with real energy at home (and only for about six of the eight quarters the last two games) but when they do they have overwhelmed the Celtics, then converted turnovers and missed shots into transition and early clock opportunities the other way. For Game 5 Tuesday night, Boston gets its best perimeter defender back — Marcus Smart.
After playing just one minute in the Bucks' first two games against the Boston Celtics in the first-round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Milwaukee center Thon Maker posted 22 points, seven rebounds and 10 blocks to help the Bucks even the series. An Instagram video by Kevin Garnett that spoke about heart and intensity. "He posted it on his Instagram, and somebody showed it to me," Maker told ESPN on Tuesday.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are all tied up with two games a piece after Giannis Antetokoumpo's late tip-in gave the Bucks a 104-102 win on Sunday. Boston won the first two games of the series at home. Al Horford's 24 points and 12 rebounds gave the Celtics a 113-107 overtime win in Game 1, while Jaylen Brown's career high 30 points propelled Boston to a 120-106 blowout in Game 2.
This best-of-seven series between Boston and Milwaukee has been reduced to a best-of-three affair with the two teams locked into a 2-2 series tie. According to nba.com/stats, Horford is averaging 5.3 points on post-ups which is third in the playoffs behind San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (10.5) and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid (6.5).