Both the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics treated fans to an unpleasant game to watch offensively, but the Celtics wound up winning this slugfest, 92-87 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. Boston started their home court advantage with a successful first quarter, riding a sub-30% shooting performances from the Bucks to a 23-15 lead. The second quarter didn’t fare much better for the Bucks at the rims, as they went into half down 48-37 after shooting just 34.9%. The Bucks pulled within four points in the third behind a surprise Shabazz Muhammad scoring burst, but still wound up down 72-61 after three. Milwaukee made a game of it late, and the refs missed a clear shot clock violation, but the Celtics prevailed as the seconds ticked away.
The Bucks played a horrific game on both ends of the court tonight, looking stuck in mud offensively and far too liberal with their gambling on the defensive end. The switching that seemed to create such havoc in Milwaukee was far more muted tonight. Milwaukee can’t feel great about shooting so poorly and still dropping what was their second chance to steal a road game in this series. Now, the legitimate must win games are here.
Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t come through with the dynamite, let me take you on my back, performance many of us hoped from him. Still, finishing with 16 points, 10 boards, nine assists, two blocks and two steals is a very reputable stat line. However, his low scoring output was indicative of the troubles both teams had tonight from the field.
Khris MIddleton finally cooled off from the field tonight, his usually dynamic midrange game getting foiled by the Celtics to finish with 20 points on 20 field goal attempts. Jabari Parker came through with another impressive supportive game, snagging several key boards in the fourth and ending at 17 points and eight boards. Eric Bledsoe played a poor game on both ends of the court, torpedoing the Bucks offense and defense at points and closing at 16 points on 15 shots.
Al Horford led the Celtics tonight in scoring, closing the game at 22 points. Jaylen Brown followed up his 30+ point performance in Game 4 with just 14 points. Terry Rozier got the Boston home bump and ended at 16 points.
Stat that Stood Out
18 Boston Turnovers - Milwaukee made hay in their home building off of bungled Boston possessions, energizing the crowd and alleviating their staid offense of having to sludge through halfcourt sets. Tonight, they mustered just 11 points off 18 Boston turnovers, while Boston had 15 off 11 turnovers by Milwaukee. The Bucks inability to take advantage of Boston’s mistakes really put a strain on what was already a difficult shooting night.