Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 40 points, Jrue Holiday registered 24 to go with eight rebounds and eight assists. And he made a pair of clutch defensive plays to help the Bucks rally to hand the Celtics a devastating loss on their home floor.
A part of what made the defeat so crushing for the hosts is that the Celtics played terrific initial team defense against Milwaukee but playing small. They gave up 17 offensive rebounds that turned into 20-second chance points for the Bucks.
As you’ll see in the deep dive into Game 5, the Celtics played well for most of the night. They couldn’t finish the job.
Both Teams Hoist a High Volume of Threes in the Opening Frame
Grayson Allen opened the game with a three from the left-wing. Al Horford responded with a baseline mid-range jumper.
Jrue Holiday then cashed in from beyond the arc, and Wesley Matthews did the same a few possessions later to give Milwaukee an early 9-2 lead. Fortunately for Boston, Jayson Tatum countered Matthews’ three with one at the other end.
At the 8:42 mark, a Giannis Antetokounmpo jumper from 16-feet represented the first shot the Bucks attempted from inside the arc.
With 7:24 to play, Jaylen Brown, who hit a three a few possessions earlier, drove baseline and hammered home a two-handed jam to trim the Celtics’ deficit to 11-10.
While, about halfway through the quarter, the Celtics produced multiple drive-and-kicks to keep Milwaukee’s defense in rotation. Leading to a drop pass from Marcus Smart to Horford for two points at the rim.
Tatum stepped into a 19-foot pull-up jumper and buried it the next time down. Giving the home team its first advantage, 14-13.
Coming out of a timeout to preserve the possession after Brown fell when George Hill pulled the chair from under him as he attacked the basket. Smart knocked down a long two from 23-feet, bringing Boston within three, 19-16, with 3:44 remaining.
In addition, Pat Connaughton then retrieved a Bobby Portis airball but got stripped by Tatum. In the ensuing fast break, Smart faked a pass to Tatum, got the Bucks to take the cheese. Then laid it in to put Boston ahead 20-19.
While with slightly over a minute left, Derrick White charged downhill and lobbed an alley-oop to Daniel Theis. Making it a 28-26 game in favor of Milwaukee.
That was the score as the quarter came to a close. Despite going 2/11 on threes, the Celtics shot 50 percent from the field. Producing 14 points in the paint on their other 13 shots.
To sum up, the Celtics were at their Best in the Second Quarter