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.
The most important statistics
Milwaukee Bucks (3) – Boston Celtics (2) 108:95 (BOXSCORE), Serie: 3-3
- Boston’s focus on the three-pointer is nothing new in this series, but the visitors took the game to the next level. With success: 8 of the 10 goals in the first quarter came from the Dreierland. In any case, the motto was threes or layups. In the first half, the Celts sent only 4 twos outside the zone on the journey, but 25 threes and 14 attempts in the zone.
- But that only worked because Boston had a really good shooting evening at the beginning. After the red-hot start, the Celtics cooled down noticeably, but in the end they were still at 17/43 from downtown (39.5 percent). However, the advantage over the Bucks was enormous, with the home side almost nothing coming together from a distance (7/29, 24.1 percent).
- At first, Boston made life difficult for themselves by losing the ball, the Bucks punished this with a good transition game. After the 4 turnovers in the first quarter, the Celtics got this problem under control (a total of 8 turnovers) and Milwaukee could no longer get easy points. In the half field, the hosts sometimes had enormous problems against the strong Celtics defense, which often built a wall in front of Giannis.
- Antetokounmpo received far too little help. Aside from Connaughton and to a lesser extent Holiday, there wasn’t really a Bucks role player on hand. Giannis scored almost as many points as the rest of the team (44:51), the non-Giannis and non-Connaughton Bucks only 16/50 from the field (32 percent). The Greek became the first NBA star to score 40/20 in a playoff game since Shaquille O’Neal in 2001.
- For any stats buff, historically, as far as a Game 7 goes, the Celtics have the advantage. The traditional franchise has a record of 24-9 in an all-important game, while the Bucks are 3-8.
The star of the game: Jayson Tatum
In the meantime, the 24-year-old went through a small phase of weakness, but he shook it off in time for the fourth quarter. When the Bucks threatened to turn the game around, Tatum was there. His answer: ice-cold jumpers, outstanding shotmaking and 11 Celtics points in a row. This man doesn’t want to go on vacation yet.
The flop of the game: Grayson Allen
The game ended with a point difference of 13 – and Allen was up/down -29! That summed up the performance of the 26-year-old quite aptly. Defensively, the Celtics picked him out as a weak point, offensively he was no help either (3 points, 1/7 FG). Correctly, he was no longer on the court in the fourth quarter.
The scene of the game
You could also name a few Tatum crunchtime jumpers here, but on that one Poster by Antetokounmpo there was ultimately no passing. The Greek initiated the Bucks’ comeback in the meantime: he got the ball as a roll man against Boston’s drop coverage, attacked with a run into the zone and punished two defenders at once for the idea of getting in the way of the freak to want.
NBA Playoffs: Celtics vs. Bucks – The series at a glance
|1||1st May||19 o’clock||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||89:101|
|2||4. May||1 O ‘clock||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||109:86|
|3||May 7||9:30 p.m||Milwaukee Bucks||Boston Celtics||103:101|
|4||May 10||1:30||Milwaukee Bucks||Boston Celtics||108:116|
|5||12. May||1 O ‘clock||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||107:110|
|6||14. May||1:30||Milwaukee Bucks||Boston Celtics||95:108|
|7||15. May||9:30 p.m||Boston Celtics||Milwaukee Bucks||–|