The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics to tie up the series 2-2 heading back to Boston. A game winner from Giannis, another amazing dunk, and clutch defense won the game. Despite everything Boston had being thrown at the Bucks, they survived after losing a 20 point lead. Thon Maker was a defensive monster again with 5 blocks today. If the Bucks win the next game they will have a chance to win the series in Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Bucks entered the game looking like the team that went down 2-0, not the team we saw on Friday. Quick plays and bad defense gave the Celtics a seven-point lead in the first quarter. The Bucks struggled shooting wise going 1-10 to start the game. After a rare made shot the deficit started to swing and shot by shot the Bucks battled back. Good plays and better shooting gave the Bucks a small lead until a shot with seconds left in the first quarter. After the shot, an errant inbound was stolen by Matthew Dellavedova and the Bucks managed to score 4 points in 3 seconds. The Bucks grew on that lead in the second quarter by putting up three’s and easy points in the paint. Like last game, the bench came up big as the Bucks grew the lead to double digits late in the second quarter. The good play gave the Bucks a 16 point lead at the half.
To begin the third quarter Tyler Zeller picked up his 4th foul, which sent red-hot Thon Maker in for him. With Thon on the floor, the Bucks grew the lead much like last game. The lead made its way up to 20 points at times as the game grew more and more comparable to game three. But turnovers and bad defense gave the Celtics a chance to fight back and cut the lead to 8 points with two minutes left in the third quarter. Rookie Jayson Tatum was the leader of the run, which was 20-6 with a minute left in the quarter. A fastbreak layup by Khris Middleton shifted the lead back to 10 points. With a chance to cut the lead to six points Thon Maker rejected Tatum with a mean swat into the first row. Unable to capitalize on the block the Bucks maintained an 8 point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Quick scoring and a Jaylen Brown three cut the once 20 point lead down to 3 points. After the timeout, a bank shot by Giannis gave the Bucks short-lived breathing room. Shane Larkin took a spill on the floor but somehow shoveled the ball to Marcus Morris who made a three. Then, after the Celtics tied the game Thon Maker took over. Thon “The Difference” Maker splashed a three then rejected a shot on the defensive end. After an offensive foul on Khris, Thon Maker stepped up again and rejected a shot only to have a foul bail out the Celtics later in the possession.
Out of the darkness, Bledsoe who had not shot consistently the entire series made a three. This shot was one of his first as not even floaters would find their way into the basket. Despite many tries from the Celtics the Bucks would not give up their lead. Thon Maker, fresh off a 7 block game, rejected just another shot on a layup attempt. While the Bucks did block many shots most got cleaned up by the Celtics. With a one-point lead with just under a minute left Jayson Tatum hit a mid-range jumper to give the Celtics a one-point lead. After a lost ball by Jaylen Brown, the Bucks capitalized and Malcolm Brogdon hit a corner three. The Celtics responded and with 20 seconds left the Bucks had to score then stop the Celtics to win. A soft rebound fell to Giannis and he cleaned up to give the Bucks a 106-104 lead. A lob pass to Marcus Morris was the Celtics final chance. Khris Middleton contested the shot and it hit right off the front iron and bounced out. Brogdon grabbed the board and Bucks fans everywhere took a deep breath of relief.
By: Weston Olds