The Milwaukee Bucks exorcized a few demons on Friday night.
Buoyed by a close triple-double by Giannis Antetokounmpo, another strong execution by Khris Middleton and critical contributions by George Hill and Pat Connaughton off the bench, the Bucks verified a 123-116 triumph and a 2-1 series lead over the Boston Celtics on Friday night at TD Garden.
It denoted Milwaukee’s first playoff win in Boston since May 13, 1987, including four misfortunes at TD Garden on the way to a first-round playoff leave last season.
In the wake of trailing by one at halftime, the Bucks rode Antetokounmpo in the second from last quarter to change the tide. He perseveringly assaulted the basket, drawing foul call after foul call a lot to the chagrin of the loud, sellout crowd.
As they recited their restriction to the approaches the floor, Antetokounmpo tranquilly covered free tosses, completing the night 14 of 20 from the line. It was all piece of a 30-point, 13-bounce back and 8-help night for Antetokounmpo in what was seemingly the greatest game of the 24-year-old MVP most loved’s career thus far.
Be that as it may, even as his domineering jerk ball drives and strong free-toss shooting gave the Bucks the high ground, their preference was a slight one. With a little more than five minutes left in the third quarter, he was whistled for a charge get and subbed out with Milwaukee up only one.
Bucks mentor Mike Budenholzer, in offering his superstar a rest, exhibited confidence in the remainder of his group. They conveyed.
Milwaukee set up together a 12-6 run throughout the following three minutes. The Bucks propped the energy up when Antetokounmpo returned, with Hill doing the majority of the harm. The reinforcement protect, who played about 30 minutes while starter Eric Bledsoe battled, went on a tear late in the third. He scored 11 in the period, including nine directly at one point as a component of a 12-0 run spreading over two minutes that put the Bucks up by 11 late in the period.
Hill’s points came in different ways. He headed to the snare for a layup. He covered a couple of three-pointers. The what tops off an already good thing was a blowby of Kyrie Irving for a drive directly down broadway for a two-gave dunk. He completed the night with a productive 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting.
Lifted by Antetokounmpo and Hill, the Bucks set up together a 40-point second from last quarter, assembling a lead they could never give up. The Celtics uncovered from underneath a 17-point gap in the last minutes, yet just got as close as five while the Bucks made free throws to put the game away.
Middleton proceeded with his run of success against the Celtics, completing with 20, five helps and our bounce back while making 3 of 6 three-pointers, with each of the three makes coming in the second half. Connaughton provided a big boost in the first half with eight straight points in the first quarter, 11 by halftime and 14 for the game.
Irving finished with 29 points on 8 of 22 shooting for the Celtics in the loss while Jayson Tatum had his best game of the series with 20 points and 11 rebounds.