Milwaukee ( Associated Press) — Jason Tatum scored 46 points as he overcame Giannis Antetokounmpo to ensure another Milwaukee Bucks wouldn’t return in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics beat defending champions 108 on Friday night to force a seventh game. beat by -95. their Eastern Conference semifinals.
A third straight win for a road team sets up a winner-take-all game on Sunday in Boston. The winner will travel to Miami to begin the East Finals matchup with the top seed Heat on Tuesday.
Boston showed its patience by returning two nights after taking a 110–107 home loss of a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 5 Game 5 home loss. The Bucks tried to rally again after trailing 14 points in the final period, but this time Tatum topped the Celtics and kept his season alive.
Antetokounmpo had 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. His 20 rebounds were one of the highest levels of his career.
Jaylen Brown 22 and Marcus Smart 21 for the Celtics, who took advantage of their superiority from 3-point range. The Celtics were 17 out of 43 and the Bucks 7 out of 27 from beyond the arc.
Antetokounmpo tried to lead the Bucks straight to another impossible comeback.
Boston led 84–70 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and was up 84–73 when officials charged Grant Williams for Antetokounmpo’s fifth foul. But the Bucks challenged the call and it was reversed on replay, sending Antetokounmpo over the line with four fouls instead.
Antetokounmpo made both free throws to start 8-0 as the Bucks returned to play. The Bucks trimmed the margin to 85-81 with 8:42 on Antetokounmpo’s 3-pointer.
Tatum didn’t let the Bucks get any closer.
After that 8-0 Bucks bounce, Tatum scored the Celtics’ next 11 points. This included a fadeaway jumper as the shot clock expired to get the lead back to six plus a couple of 3-pointers.
Tatum and Brown each hit a 3-pointer during an 8-0 bounce that closed with Smart’s jumper that made it 100-87 with 4:20 remaining.
Boston maintained a double-point lead in the rest of the division.
The Celtics played Robert Williams without a forward/centre for the third game in a row.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Williams’ left knee was injured when he collided with Antetokounmpo in Game 3.
Milwaukee was missing three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton for the ninth game in a row. Middleton sprained his medial collateral ligament in his left knee during Game 2 of the Bucks’ first-round series with the Chicago Bulls.
Celtics: Tatum has scored at least 30 points in three straight games. … Tatum was 7 of 15 on Friday, after going a combined 5 of 27 on 3-point attempts in game 3-5. … The Celtics were 10 for 17 from 3-point range in the first 14 1/2 minutes of the game.
Bucks: A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, Who died on Tuesday at the age of 73. Lanier played for the Bucks from 1980–84, and his number 16 jersey hangs from the Fischer Forum rafters. … an estimated 10,000 fans filled the deer district outside Fisher’s Forum.
crew chief change
Scott Foster, the crew chief scheduled for Game 6, could not function due to illness related to COVID-19. Eric Lewis took over as crew chief, Ben Taylor served as referee and Trey Maddox served as umpire.
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