Well, that was unexpected. In a game that nobody saw coming, the Boston Celtics came into Milwaukee and tore apart the Bucks, 140-99.
The energy level was full right away to begin this one, with both teams landing punches on each other throughout the first few minutes. However, Boston’s dynamic duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum started cooking mid-way through the frame. Brown would explode for 17 first quarter points, pacing the Celtics to a 34-26 advantage after one.
The second quarter began with themes for both teams. Boston hit threes. Milwaukee didn’t. Additionally, they couldn’t hit a shot for over four minutes. The air was let out of the balloon in the second quarter. The Celtics’ lead kept growing, and growing, and growing. Before you knew it, they had a 20 point lead — and then it was a 30 point lead. The stat of the first half? Milwaukee going 3-of-22 from deep. That resulted in a 75-47 advantage for the Celtics at intermission.
I’m just going to sum up the third and fourth quarter as this — they were ugly. When all was settled in this matchup, Boston left town with an extremely lopsided 140-99 victory.
Jayson Tatum was fantastic for Boston, exploding for 40 points. Jaylen Brown also was huge, fueling the effort with 30 points of his own.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in scoring with 24 points.
Milwaukee will look to rebound Sunday against Philadelphia.
The 3-point shooting was the biggest difference.
As the first half began to unfold, you could see the table tilting in Boston’s favor. It was like the Titanic sinking. You could see it coming, but there wasn’t anything you could do. At the break, Milwaukee was shooting just 3-of-22 from the perimeter. That was the dagger right then and there. It wouldn’t improve in the second half. On the contrary, Boston couldn’t miss. Their threes were falling while Milwaukee couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. It was just ugly all around.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown got Boston the win.
You sort of knew that the Bucks were in trouble when Jaylen Brown rattled off 17 first quarter points. Once Tatum started to get going, it became very clear that things were going array — and fast. Jrue Holiday mentioned how they came out cooking and just made life extremely difficult for the Bucks. Their shooting is what makes it so tough. Rather than catch-and-shoot, they leverage the jab and can shoot off the dribble. That definitely adds another layer to the mix, making it much more of a challenge to withstand the offensive firepower that they possess.
The fatigue really showed tonight.
Not only were the Bucks on a back-to-back last night, but they were playing their fifth game in the last seven days. Those two facts combined with one another typically never bodes well and it didn’t for Milwaukee. Everyone seemed to be lacking that next step — especially Giannis. You could just tell that the focus and energy that typically is there with this Bucks team was absent. They’ll have a couple of days to reset themselves before Philadelphia comes to town for another game with big implications. What did Jrue Holiday think of this?
“I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t know it was five in seven. I feel like we were focused on this game and we came out just kind of shi**ing the bed.”
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Following the thrashing, Jrue Holiday was asked about where things currently stand against the Celtics:
Jrue Holiday on if there are any concerns with playing the Celtics in the playoffs following tonight: pic.twitter.com/W2BIDAF0Xo— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) March 31, 2023
Here’s another response, this time from Giannis:
Asked Giannis Antetokounmpo about his level of concern if the Bucks see the Celtics again in the postseason.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) March 31, 2023
"We know what the deal is. It's not hard to understand. If you're not focused, if you don't play hard, they're going to kick our ass." - @Giannis_An34
- In their first game back following their four-game road trip, the Bucks continued to play on their blue alternate court. The primary one is currently having repairs done to it. However, there are now five games remaining in the regular season. It’s beginning to become more and more likely that the blue court may be here for the playoffs.
- Khris Middleton got clocked by Jaylen Brown’s elbow in this one. It resulted in him having to leave the game due to bleeding. It was then reported that he had to have three or four stitches. In his postgame presser, Mike Budenholzer told us that he expects him to be fine.
- Thanasis got ejected in the fourth following these fireworks:
Things get chippy between Blake Griffin and Thanasis Antetokounmpo in garbage time of the Celtics' blowout win over the Bucks. pic.twitter.com/oMZ7VZ494A— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 31, 2023
- It was a rough night for Jae Crowder defensively. Malcolm Brogdon definitely had him beat off the dribble a few times. He’ll look to rebound Sunday vs. Philadelphia.
- This happened last night:
Goran gets his first bucket as a member of the Bucks. pic.twitter.com/U4aUvPbahG— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 31, 2023
- Last, a blast from the past: