The Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 in Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference series on Monday, putting the reigning Champions out of contention
Celtics forward Grant Williams put on an exhibition of three-point shooting that helped Boston advance to the conference finals. Williams nailed seven of Boston’s 22 3-pointers after being dared to shoot by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Williams’ strong shooting from beyond the arc typified Boston’s offensive dominance, as the Bucks missed a number of wide-open looks. As the Celtics dominated the second half, Williams had a career-high 27 points, while Jayson Tatum added 23 of his own.
“Grant won us a playoff game tonight,” Tatum said.
Boston Celtics VS Milwaukee Bucks overview
The Celtics held off Antetokounmpo’s early attack, which saw him close to a triple-double in the first 12 minutes, and their own poor shooting to trail only 26-20 at the half.
“After blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 5, which allowed the Bucks to take a 3-2 lead, Boston needed to win Games 6 and 7.” However, after pulling away late in Game 6 against Milwaukee, the Celtics used the 3-point shooting in Game 7 to create some distance between themselves and the Bucks.
Early in, the Bucks grabbed a 10-point lead. Six of Antetokounmpo’s first nine shots were hit, and he outmuscled Celtics defenders on his way to the rim. He contributed to 33 of Milwaukee’s 43 points in the first half, keeping the Bucks within five points at halftime.
In the second half, everything changed. In the third quarter, the Celtics scored 31 points. As the bucks’ victory began to fade, showers of three-pointers rained like meteors.
“I told him to let it fly,” Udoka said. “They’re disrespecting you more tonight than earlier in the series … I basically said, ‘Shoot the ball. What else can you do? Stop driving into crowds. Take the shots that they are giving you.’“
“I basically said shoot the ball. What else can you do? Stop driving into the crowd. Shoot the shot that they are giving you.” he added
In the first two minutes of the third quarter, Williams, Tatum, and Brown all hit 3-pointers, extending Boston’s advantage to 59-47 and forcing a Milwaukee timeout. The Celtics were able to steam into the fourth quarter despite Tatum’s fourth foul — a disputed charge call that erased a three-point play. Without their hero, Brown and Williams combined for 20 points in the third quarter, extending the margin to 79-64.
By the final buzzer, the Bucks had extended their lead to 28 points, as they were out of sync offensively, and chose to leave Boston’s players wide open for 3-point attempts. From the 3-point line, the Celtics outscored the Bucks 66-12. Milwaukee shot 37% from the field and 13% (4-33) from beyond the arc, but it wasn’t enough to keep their title defense alive through the second round.
What a game it was!