NBA Playoffs: Boston Celtics force Game 7 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Jayson Tatum isn’t in the mood for a vacation yet! The Celtics star blasted Boston to a 108-95 win with a superb fourth quarter, forcing a Game 7. He defies the strong Giannis Antetokounmpo, who, however, is too much on his own.

Tatum finished the game with 46 points (17/32 FG, 7/15 trebles), 9 rebounds and 4 assists, only Sam Jones in Celtic’s long playoff history to have scored more points in an elimination game (47). Jaylen Brown (22) and Marcus Smart (21, 7 assists) provided support, and Derrick White (9, 5 rebounds) also put in a strong performance. Daniel Theis was allowed to play for 10 minutes and scored 4 points and 2 rebounds.

Tatum scored 16 points in the closing period alone as Boston again almost lost a comfortable lead. But the 24-year-old delivered the right answer with jumper after jumper and narrowly edged out Antetokounmpo. The Greek had 44 points (14/30 FG), 20 boards and 6 assists. But otherwise only Jrue Holiday (17, 7/17 FG) and Pat Connaughton (14, 6/8 FG) scored in double digits.

Once again Boston had to do without Robert Williams (knee), who was replaced by Grant Williams in the starting five as before. The Bucks started with the usual lineup. The game started a little late because a shot clock over the backboard failed. As a replacement, the hall crew installed two shotclocks on the floor, each positioned in the corners next to the benches. The shot clocks above the basket only worked again in the second half.

Boston started red-hot from a distance – and relied almost exclusively on the threesome. The visitors’ first eight shots came from downtown, five shots in the basket, giving the Celtics an early lead. But Giannis could hardly be stopped on the other side. Boston only sunk the first two-point attempt after almost six minutes, but Antetokounmpo and Holiday responded with the first Bucks threes of the evening. Boston countered the 17 Giannis points with 8 three-pointers in the first quarter, which went to the Celtics 28:26.

Jayson Tatum towers – Boston forces Game 7

The guests picked up right where they left off. There were several threesomes at the start of the second period, and Tatum in particular apparently had no desire for an early playoff exit. After Boston had pulled away to +10, the throwing luck was lost for the time being. However, since the Bucks’ supporting cast with Antetokounmpo on the bench remained completely cold, the guests went into the half-time break at 53:43.

The start of the second half belonged to Boston. The Celtics quickly increased their lead to 18 points, while Antetokounmpo conceded his fourth foul. However, the Greek stayed on the court, Milwaukee started a run when Boston’s shooting finally cooled down. With more ball movement and several penetrations, things went better for the Celtics offense – 82:70 for Boston.

Antetokounmpo set the tone for the final section with a poster dunk, Connaughton shortened from downtown to -6, and the Fiserv Forum trembled. Especially when Giannis followed up with a wide open pull-up threesome. The Celtics were now just a one-man show – and Tatum delivered with superb shotmaking.

Single-handedly keeping the Bucks at bay, Brown provided vital support from downtown and returned to +11 midway through the half. The Celtics didn’t let this lead be taken away, the Bucks fans left the hall early. The all-important game 7 will now take place on Sunday, tip-off is at 9:30 p.m. German time.

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