After Game 1 largely dominated by the Bucks, and Game 2 by the Celtics, this third round of the series between Milwaukee and Boston became more balanced.
In the first half, the two teams delivered a true playoff, sporadic in attack but intense on the other side of the field, with a very physical defense with every possession, and connections all around. Despite the ineffective attack of both teams (15/45 Celtics, 18/46 bucks), the bosses are still around.
On the Bucks side, Giannis Antetokounmpo is clearly the standout with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. The Greek player is well supported by Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday, who have amassed 11 and 9 points. Big problem for buildings though: the first two, with Grayson Allen, each have 3 character flaws! The Celtics rely on a hyperactive Jaylen Brown (10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) and a good contribution from the bench, while Jason Tatum is not at best (6 points at 2/9).
At the break, after a contested first period, it was Boston’s finally who had a poor lead (50-46), thanks to the second quarter with 31 points, and in particular a very good pass at the end of this season.
During the third quarter, the Pushing force It clearly swings to one side for the first time in the game, and it’s in favor of the dollars. Under the impetus of the “Greek whim”, who continues to terrorize the Celtics in transition (31 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists), the locals are gaining momentum in attack. Conversely, crossing the desert for the Celtics, who scored just 17 points (at 6/20), is like Jason Tatum who is still in poor shape (8 points at 17/3). After this third season with 34 points, the Bucks attack the last quarter with a comfortable lead, the widest of confrontations (80-67).
A final quarter in which the dollars were very scared. Believing they had done the hard part, Mike Budenholzer’s men relaxed their defense and allowed their opponents back into the match: the Celtics were -2 (95-97) four minutes from the end, and even going forward two minutes later (100-99)!
Boston misses two 3-pointers on the same possession to make the break, while in the event of an emergency Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday each take charge and each score a basket to get his team back on track: Bucks at +2 (103-101) with four remaining seconds. On the free throw line, Marcus Smart voluntarily missed his second shot to give the Celtics a chance to equalise. Brave Al Horford succeeded, but the ball was still in contact with his hand when the final bell sounded: the Bucks narrowly won after a very complicated end to the game (103-101).
What to remember
– Marcus Smart is back. injured in game 1, absent in game 2, Defensive Player of the Year The Celtics are back in the Big Five for this third game in the series. A secret comeback, not to mention missing out, the backer only collects 9 points at 1/7 in shots, with 3 missing balls and 3 fouls.
– Match without an external address. Clumsy in Game 2 (3/18), the Bucks failed to set the milestones in this third round, signing an ugly 9/34 behind the arc. The Celtics did slightly better, with less than one shot attempt (9/33). This 3 game was played in a transitional period, with completion near the circle. And in the field, the team with the most dominant league player in its ranks has been the most successful: the Bucks put 52 points in the paint (versus 32 for the Celtics).
✅ Giannis Antikonmo. An exceptional performance from the Greek signifies his best match of the series by far. “Greek Freak”, the author of one of the decisive baskets in the last moments, collects 42 points (16/30), 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Sovereign in physical combat, the Celtics cited paint and in their momentum, the Bucks held out, despite the game’s chaotic finish.
✅ Jrue holiday. Despite the (very) greedy shooting (11/30), the Bucks’ leader was in the furnace and mill. Imperial in defense (3 interceptions, 1 against), he made his turn in attack (25 points), with a decisive shot in the last seconds, while winning in other areas (7 rebounds and 3 assists). Without Chris Middleton, the ex-76 and Pelicans are the obvious No. 2 for the Bucks, and he responds presently.
✅ Alhorford. Imposing a double-double (22 points, 16 rebounds) for the veteran insider, who almost became the evening’s hero on the Celtics side. He struggled on the racket against Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he made the Boston match more flexible in attack with his well-placed screens, and in defense with his clever posture and always clear communication. He definitely has a major role to play in the rest of the series.
✅ Jaylyn Brown. The Celtics’ offensive captain during this match, the winger just needed a win to sign for a (almost) perfect evening. With 27 points (8/16), 12 rebounds and 4 assists, JB struggled throughout the match, while the other Jay struggled. Despite the loss, there were positives for Boston in this performance by Jaylen Brown, demonstrating his ability to raise his level at key moments.
⛔️ Jason Tatum. The former Dukie definitely played the worst game of his career in the playoffs. Never in rhythm, even in complete loss at times, the winger never weighed offensively, despite numerous attempts to achieve it (4/19). He scored just 10 points after a failed game, and quickly forgot to focus on the fourth game, crucial to the survival of the Celtics, who are now 2-1 down in the series.
Fourth game: In Milwaukee, Monday nights through Tuesdays, starting at 1:30 a.m.