Jaylen Brown scored 25 of his 30 points in the first half, and the Boston Celtics hit the Milwaukee Bucks 109-86 on Tuesday evening to equalize the playoffs of the second round in a match each.
Brown shrugged off a sad night of shooting in Game 1, going 9 for 10 in the first half, including 5 for 5 from the 3-point line. Jayson Tatum added 29 points and eight assists. Al Horford scored 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The series will not resume until Race 3 on Saturday in Milwaukee.
Boston arrived 20 out of 43 from over the arc. The Celtics played without point guard Marcus Smart after being sidelined before the game with a bruise in his right thigh he sustained in Game 1. Derrick White took his place in the starting lineup, making his first start in a playoff match. since 2019, when he was with Sant’Antonio.
The Celtics cracked down on Giannis Antetokounmpo after his triple double in the series opener, limiting him to 28 points, mostly in the third quarter, nine rebounds and seven assists. Jrue Holiday added 19 points and seven assists. Bobby Portis scored 13 points and eight rebounds.
With Smart wearing street clothes off the bench, the Celtics scored the first seven points of the game by taking the lead 18-3 and forcing the Bucks into a quick timeout.
Boston scored from a variety of different spots on the pitch during the run, sticking both on the edge and inside of the paint. It also included 12 points from the 3-point line, where the Celtics fought for most of Game 1.
Antetokounmpo missed his first six shots of the night before finally making it to the scoreboard thanks to a dunk less than a minute before the end of the opening period.
That didn’t stop Boston amassing a 32-21 lead in the second quarter, up 17 points from Brown, a career playoff record for a quarter.
The Celtics continued to share and kept Milwaukee’s defense in pursuit mode, ultimately taking a 65-40 lead in the half-court.
The Bucks cut what had been a Celtics’ 26-point lead in the third quarter. Antetokounmpo scored the charge with 18 points in the period. A 10-0 Milwaukee, aided by a more than five-minute goal drought by the Celtics, reduced Boston’s lead to 72-56 at the end of the third quarter.
But Boston topped the Bucks 11-10 for the remainder of the period to take an 83-66 lead in the quarter.
Milwaukee continued to nibble and took the score to 94-82 on a pair of free throws from Antetokounmpo, followed by a 3 from Tatum.
The lead returned to 101-86 when Antetokounmpo was stripped under the basket, leading to another 3 for Tatum.
Holiday missed a 3 on the other side and Grant Williams lost his on the next counterattack to bring the record of 107-86 with 1:52 left.
Associated Press Report.
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