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May 7, 2022 10:16 pm

Bucks respond to furious Celtics rally, take 2-1 lead

Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 42 points and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the visiting Boston Celtics 103-101 Saturday afternoon and take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

After trailing by 13 in the fourth quarter, the Celtics came all the way back to take a one-point lead with 1:49 remaining when Jaylen Brown made a pair of free throws.

After Antetokounmpo scored to put the Bucks back into the lead, Jrue Holiday sank a turnaround jumper with 11.2 seconds remaining and Milwaukee was back up by three.

Marcus Smart was fouled with 4.6 seconds remaining, and after he made one free throw, he intentionally missed the second, the Celtics got the rebound but Smart missed a fadeaway as the clock was running out and Al Horford’s tip-in to potentially tie things at 103-103 came just after the final buzzer.

Antetokounmpo added 12 rebounds and eight assists on 16-of-30 shooting to give the Bucks the series advantage. Holiday contributed 25 points and seven rebounds, and Brook Lopez chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Brown paced Boston with 27 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-16 shooting. Horford supplied 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Celtics while Derrick White went for 14 points off the bench.

Milwaukee outscored the Celtics 20-6 over the first 5:46 of the third quarter to open up a 10-point lead. Boston responded with a brief run to pull back within five, but the Bucks punched right back and would go on to carry a 13-point advantage into the fourth.

Despite shooting just 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half, the Celtics went into the break with a 50-46 lead thanks to a 9-2 run to close the first half.

Boston took advantage of its opportunities at the charity stripe, cashing in on 16 of 17 first-half free throws (94.1 percent).

Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 20 points and nine rebounds to keep Milwaukee in contention, and Lopez had 11 points and seven rebounds. Both players found themselves in foul trouble, though, as they each picked up three fouls in the half.

Defense dictated the first 12 minutes of action, as neither team could shoot above 37 percent from the field. Boston also went just 1-for-7 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range, while the Bucks shot 2-for-10 (20.0 percent).

–Field Level Media

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