Boston Celtics take 2-0 lead in 120-106 win over Milwaukee Bucks
The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 120-106 to take a two-game lead in the Playoffs' first round! They started strong in the first quarter and kept the momentum going through the fourth. Jaylen Brown dominated all night long, finishing with 30 points and 5 rebounds.
The Celtics were dancing early. One particular bear put on a pre-game show for the Boston faithful.
Not long into the game, a Celtics' player stood up and proceeded to half court to check in. The Garden faithful rose. An ominous chant began. And Guerschon Yabusele checked into the game. The first substitute of the game for Brad Stevens.
Guess what? Yabu immediately produced. Brad with the 200 MPH curveball. Never fails.
Mr. First Quarter himself, Jaylen Brown, lived up to his namesake in the first. He gave the Celtics a three-point lead with this coast-to-coast slam. He'd finish the first twelve minutes with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Marcus Morris checked in about halfway through the first and immediately made himself relevant. On his first possession, he took the ball in isolation into the key, then drained the easy, close-range bucket. Right after he grabbed the defensive rebound that led to two points. Most impressive, however, was this creepy, double-jointed-looking dive and save as the ball was rolling out of bounds. Its was an amazing play...that you can't see, so... that sucks.
The score box robbed fans at home of viewing the beauty of this hustle play. Marcus Morris dove and tracked the ball right to the edge of the out-of-bounds line before flipping it over his back to Greg Monroe. Wow. pic.twitter.com/E9MmVzbACd
Khris Middleton didn't shoot in the quarter, but had 3 boards. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
The second quarter started the Celtics' way thanks to Shane Larkin. First, he suffocated Eric Bledsoe, who insisted on isolating himself with Larkin. Larkin didn't let him get an inch, and forced a turnover. On the following offensive possession, he snuck a bouncer to Greg Monroe who had a wide open lane.
But alas, this wasn't your regular, second quarter Celtics! When the Bucks tied it at 35-35, Terry Rozier hit a three, and then Aron Baynes hit a put-back layup off of a nice Tatum defensive stop. Before you knew it, the Celtics had brewed up a 7-0 run of their own.
The final minutes of the half were back and forth. It was the Celtics hitting, then the Bucks, over and over. Horford, then Middleton, then Morris, Middleton, Giannis, Morris. Back and forth. The Celtics would end the tug-of-war with this Mook triple, and a Terry Rozier fast-break slam that ended the half.
Khris Middleton went wild in the second quarter, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Giannis was equally as filthy in the half. He went 8-for-9 from the field for 18 points. He also kicked in 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Jayson Tatum went 0-fer in the half on 0-for 6 shooting! An awful contrast from Game One's 19 point effort. His half wasn't all bad, though. He had 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Horford added 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Jaylen stayed hot, going 7-for-12 for 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist. Terry had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Morris dropped 10 points in 14 minutes.
The third quarter started how the Celtics wanted it to, and ended it that way too.
The first bucket of the third quarter came from Jayson Tatum on the fast-break after a Baynes' block. Then Terry put the mask on, transformed into Scary Terry, and hit a few buckets.
Jaylen would keep the quarter's fire, as well as his own, going in the third. He scored three consecutive times for the Celtics. A three-pointer, followed by a smooth lay-up, and another from long range. Here's the final three:
During Jaylen's arsenic third-quarter streak, he dropped 10 points, making his total at that time 26. Al Horford had accumulated 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists by that time. Terry had 18 points and 5 assists.
The good times kept rolling into the fourth! The Celtics started the quarter going 4-for-4, led by Greg Monroe doing what he does best in the post. He finished the game with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Horford kept his rivalry with Giannis intense by consistenttly challenging him during the game. Giannis returned the favor by toughening up in tonight's matchup. He was stronger on Al from literally the first play of the game. On that play, the Celtics gave the ball to Al near the elbow, and he began backing down Giannis like he had countless times in Game 1, but this time, Giannis stood his ground. Al was forced to kick the ball out to one of his ball handlers.
He did, get the best of Giannis on this one though. Silky smooth.
And the rest of their team did their part, too. That was that. The Celtics kept their lead for the remainder the game and called it a night.
And the Bucks didn't even play poorly in the game! They shot nearly 60% on the night, but still, almost lost by 20! A potential reason for that: the Bucks had 15 turnovers. The Celtics only had 5.
The Celtics continued to cruise in the fourth, and took the W 120-106. Can you believe this team!? Six players scored in double-figures, they shot over 50% as a team, over 40% from deep, and Jaylen Brown scored 30 freaking points. What a time to be a Celtics' fan.
Game 3 is Friday at 9:30 EST. In Milwaukee! Is it too early to get the brooms out?
Numbers to notice:
Middleton: 25 points on 10-14 shooting (71.4%), 4 rebounds, 1 assist
Giannis: 30 points on 13-17 shooting (76.5%), 9 rebounds, 8 assists
Henson: 12 points on 6-7 shooting (85.7%), 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Bledsoe: 12 points on 5-13 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
Shabazz Mihammad in his first playoff appearance: 11 points on 4-8 shooting
Tatum: 4 points on 2-9 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
Horford: 16 points on 7-11 shooting, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Baynes: 6 points on 3-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
Jaylen: 30 points on 12-22 shooting from the field, 5-7 from long range, 5 rebounds, 1 assist
Terry: 23 points on 8-14 shooting, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Mook: 18 points on 6-11 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 assist
Larkin: 11 points on 5-8 shooting, 3 assists
Yabu: 10 minutes, 0-2 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Abdel Nader: 1 minute, 1 block