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The Boston Celtics 113-to-107 thrilling overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks did not come easy. It looked like the Celtics had the game in the bag in regulation time after a 3-pointer by Terry Rozier. Then the Bucks Kris Middleton hit a long-distance 3-pointer of his own with no time left on the clock. On to overtime.

The Celtics rolled out their starting five of Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes. Horford opened the Celtics scoring with a nifty jump hook. Brown scored on a drive, and Tatum scored Boston's next four points on a jumper and full court drive.

Aron Baynes picked up his second foul at the 3:47 mark of the first quarter and was replaced by Marcus Morris. Shane Larkin also entered the game. The Bucks suddenly became turnover-prone and called a timeout after one turnover with the Celtics now up 20-to-17. Morris hit a three-pointer and was fouled on the play. He hit the free throw ending a 15-point run by Boston and leaving the score at 29-to-17 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bucks went on a 10-and-2 run to begin the second quarter, and Boston did their own version of turn-the-ball-over. The shots just weren't falling for Boston and they trailed 41-to-33 at the 5:29 mark of the second quarter.

Shane Larkin committed three turnovers in limited minutes and was promptly taken out by Brad Stevens. The half ended on a terrific sequence beginning with a block by Horford, followed by a Celtics fast break and an extremely difficult under-the-hoop, high-off-the-glass layup by Terry Rozier.

Jayson Tatum and Al Horford were the stars for the Celtics in the first half. Jayson had 10 points on 50% field-goal shooting with four rebounds and two steals. Al supplied eight points, five rebounds, two steals and three blocks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton
stood out for Milwaukee. The Greek freak notched 16 points, three rebounds and three assists. Middleton also scored 16 points and added four rebounds and two assists. The Bucks just had their way with Boston via their transition offense and the turnovers committed by the Celtics. The Bucks had 11 turnovers in the first half to Boston's seven, four of which were Shane's errors.



The third quarter was punctuated by a driving layup and 3-pointer by Marcus Morris and the same (drive and three) by Jaylen. Brown's drive was determined, creating space for himself with sheer strength. Jaylen scored seven points in the quarter. The quarter ended with a terrific three-point shot by Tatum with 15 seconds left in the period. The score was 70-to-66 in Boston's favor.

Al Horford was high scorer in the game for Boston with 24 points, and he added 12 boards, four assists, two steals and three blocks. Al did it all and even, in commentator Kevin McHale's words, played some bully-ball. Jayson Tatum also had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Brown had 20 points, while T-Ro had 23 and Morris 21.


Rozier sealed the win in OT with a key rebound with 13 seconds on the clock. He was fouled by the Greek Freak, who picked up his 6th foul and was gone from the game. Tatum had some key rebounds, a block and an acrobatic lay in during the final plays of the game.


For Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton were the stars. The Greek freak notched 35 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Middleton had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The game came down to the wire in regulation when Middleton's heave tied the score at 99-to-99. This was as exciting a game you can hope to see, and the Celtics lead the series 1-to-0. The Al Horford doubters may have to take their arguments down a notch. He was something. Jayson Tatum was critical to the win, as were Terry, Morris and Jaylen. What a thriller it was.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 4/15/2018 04:23:00 PM Edit
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