Bucks, Celtics gear up for pivotal Game 5
BOSTON -- The Milwaukee Bucks continue to battle history and the Celtics as they visit TD Garden for Game 5 of their opening-round playoff series with Boston on Tuesday night.
Despite winning both games in Milwaukee, the Bucks, looking for their first series victory since 2000, have never won a series after trailing 0-2, going 0-17 in such situations.
The Celtics, on the other hand, have never lost a series they led 2-0, winning all 35 times going into their current situations.
In league history, teams are 19-274 when trailing series 0-2, including the Portland Trail Blazers going out in four straight against the New Orleans Pelicans in the current first round.
But the Bucks, after a lineup change caused by the back injury to John Henson, guaranteed there will be another game at Bradley Center before the move to their new building next season.
They win Game 4 when Giannis Antetokounmpo tipped home the winning basket with 5.1 seconds left -- after the Bucks squandered a 20-point lead with what amounted to their season on the line.
"At the end of the day in the playoffs, we know we have the best player on the floor," Malcolm Brogdon, whose running hook shot was followed by Antetokounmpo, said after the win. "So we rely on him and he comes through."
Antetokounmpo said, "It means a lot," gutting out a critical victory that evened the series at two wins apiece. "I just want to say good job to everybody because everybody played hard. Whoever stepped on the floor played hard, played together. The most important thing is we trust one another."
But now, what comes down to a best-of-three series shifts to Boston, where the Celtics have gone 29-14, including playoffs, at home, this season. The Bucks are 19-24 on the road, but they opened the season with a win at TD Garden.
Antetokounmpo left a Milwaukee restaurant after a delay in seating after Game 4 but can now turn his attention to the Celtics, who are without Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis. Marcus Smart, who has been out, has been upgraded to questionable for Tuesday's game.
Jaylen Brown scored a career-high 34 points, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range, in Boston's Game 4 loss.
"He's the only reason we were in the game in the first," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. "And then in the second, he just continued and did a great job. Played with tremendous spirit, played with tremendous toughness and made shots. Kept us in it."
"Jaylen was great," teammate Al Horford said. "His energy on defense really translated to the offensive end. Hit some very tough shots and had a lot of timely plays. That's encouraging to see."
The Celtics called an isolation play for Marcus Morris after the final timeout but the shot didn't go.
"It's a shot that Mook makes 10 out of 10 times," Brown said. "It just didn't go in tonight. So, Game 5."
Horford said, "We're battling. We're playing hard, but it's not good enough just to play hard. This is why the playoffs are so challenging. But I think it's good for our group. I think we're learning. We're looking forward to being able to go back home."
Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds in Boston's 113-107 overtime win in Game 1, and Brown scored 30 in a 120-106 victory in Game 2.
Antetokounmpo had 35 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Game 1 and 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Game 2. He is averaging 27.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists through four games.
Brown leads the Celtics in scoring at 23.8 points per game.
Updated April 24, 2018