MILWAUKEE—Despite Robert Williams being out with a sore left knee, the Celtics were able pull off a win against the defending champs 116-108 Monday night. The big performance of the night came from Celtics center Al Horford who finished with 30 points.
The absence of R. Williams was impactful. The Bucks have two seven footers in Giannis and Brook Lopez, and they were fully utilized in this game tonight. Giannis finished with 32 points and Lopez with 17. Nonetheless, it was Horford who stepped up huge tonight and made shots. He also had the tough task of guarding Giannis on the other side of the floor. Playing 42 minutes, the big man really stepped up huge for the C’s.
Perhaps the biggest swing is the fourth quarter. The Celtics began the fourth quarter down double digits. But Horford and Jayson Tatum took over. The Celtics scored 43 points in the last quarter of regulation. C’s ended the ones holding a double digit lead.
The big difference between this game and the others was the C’s effectiveness inside the paint offensively. All series Boston has been forced to chuck up 3-pointers because of Milwaukee’s interior defense. However—tonight the Celtics shot 50% from the field, and only put up 37 3’s.
Jayson Tatum stepped up—coming off a ugly 10 point performance in game 3, he redeemed himself, finishing with 30 points. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each finished with 18 points to help catapult them to a win.
The Bucks won the fight on the boards, out rebounding the Celtics 48-38. The Celtics fouled Giannis a ton as he drove and got second chance buckets, however, missed free throws hindered Milwaukee’s chances.
The series is now 2-2 in this second round of the NBA playoffs. Game 5 will be back in Boston Wednesday night as the Celtics will try to get a game up on the Bucks, something they haven’t been able to do this entire series.