Celtics cruise to a 112-96 win over Bucks to take the series

The Boston Celtics cruised to a 112-96 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game Seven to take the series and move on to the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia 76'ers.

Al Horford got things going for Boston with a jam on a lob pass from Jayson Tatum. Al followed that with a lay-up and a subsequent block on Giannis Antetokounmpo.

But a 3-pointer by Thon Maker and tough Bucks defense put Milwaukee ahead 13-10 at the 6:00 point in the first quarter.

An offensive rebound and put-back by Terry Rozier was followed by a jab-step, baseline drive by Jayson Tatum. Milwaukee missed five shots in a row while Jayson picked up another two points on a jumper. The Celtics were challenging every shot. Marcus Smart chalked up a steal and hoop.

Tony Snell launched an air ball, and the crowd was raucous. The first quarter ended with an Aron Baynes jumper via a Smart assist. The score was 30-17 in favor of Boston.

At the 10:00 mark in the second quarter, Eric Bledsoe had 10 points, and he picked up two more in the next minute. Giannis made a 3-pointer making for a 4-point game at 32-28 in Boston's favor. Bledsoe picked up his third foul (offensive) and was pulled. Terry Rozier quickly celebrated by hitting a smooth floater.

A steal by Smart leading to a pass to Horford for a layup made it 43-32, Boston. Brown came up hobbled at the 3:00 mark, and it looked like a hamstring issue. He came out in favor of Marcus Morris.

The quarter ended with Boston leading 50-42. Al Horford was high scorer for the half with 14 points while adding seven rebounds. Jyson Tatum and Terry Rozier each had nine points. For Milwaukee Eris Bledsoe scored 12 points, followed by The Greek Freak with seven and Kris Middleton with nine.

Al started the second half with a turnaround. Jaylen was on the bike testing his hamstring, having been replaced by Marcus Smart. Giannis answered with an open jam. At the 7:02 mark Horford came up with a loose ball under the basket and found a way to get it up and in.

The Bucks seemed to be unraveling and were called for a shot clock violation at the 6:07 mark. A Tatum baseline drive and Ojeleye 3-pointer made it 70-59 in Boston's favor. Brown had still not returned to the court.

A terrific sequence followed. Morris hit a 3-pointer, quickly followed by a Tatum block and then a Tatum 3-pointer. The crowd went wild. The third quarter ended with Boston leading 81-65.

The fourth quarter started without Brown. Boston was cruising, though, and led 89-76 at the 8-minute mark. Morris was hitting his shots, Baynes canned a jump-hook and Smart took a charge. Everything was clicking. Tatum's drive made it a 15-point lead. The rookie was stepping up. He was now up to 18 points for the game. T-Ro was also on a roll. He was having a great game both offensively and defensively. He had 24 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists with 5:17 remaining in the game.

Rozier added the icing with a gorgeous opposite-side driving layup with less than two minutes left in the game. The game was in the bag at that point. Horford and Rozier shared scoring honors for Boston with 26 points each. Terry also had six rebounds and nine assists. Tatum scored 20 points with six rebounds and five assists.

Kris Middleton was high-scorer for Milwaukee with 32 points. The Greek Freak had 22 points while Bledsoe scored 23. Boston jst seemed in control for most of the game and now they move on.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Top photo via Matt West/Boston Herald