Home Cookin’: Celtics Stave off Bucks in Game 7by The Scorecrow April 28, 2018 0 comments
Survive and advance.
That’s exactly what the Boston Celtics did on Saturday in front of an electic TD Garden.
Al Horford and Terry Rozier scored 26 points apiece and Jayson Tatum tossed in 20 as the Celtics cruised to a 112-96 victory over the Mikwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Celtics will meet the Philadelphia 76ers in the semifinals with Game 1 set for Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. in Boston.
After the way the series had gone through the first six games, it seemed inevitable that the Celtics would get the job done on their home floor. However, given the way that Jaylen Brown had played throughout the series, the fact the C’s were able to win as in as convincing a fashion as they did with their second-year man out of Cal only scoring two points, and missing the entire second half sent a statement to the rest of the league.
With that in mind, the performance turned in by Horford and Rozier simply cannot go unnoticed. With Brown going down, the team donning the white jerseys with the green lettering needed those two to step up, and they certainly did; particularly Horford. The man who is often ridiculed for not being aggressive enough put on an absolute show tonight, tying his playoff career-high in points, and was simply on another planet for the majority of the time he was on the floor. Horford also corralled eight rebounds.
As for Horford’s reinforcements? Well, for starters, Rozier put up yet another big-time performance in the absence of Kyrie Irving. The Louisville complemented his co-game-high in points by dishing out nine assists.
After the Bucks pulled within 13 with 6:10 remaining, Rozier sunk back-to-back treys to put this one out of reach.
Tatum seemed to key the Celtics on the defensive side of the floor – hauling down six boards.
“Tatum is out there guarding everybody,” was often a line used by Brian Anderson, who had the call on TNT.
The 76ers, pose a whole new threat. As the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons seem to have no real matchup in which the C’s have any sort of advantage.
“Coach is going to have good schemes for us, and we know they’re going to be a good test for us, but we’ll be ready,” emerging star Terry Rozier told Ros Gold-Onwude of TNT after the final seconds of Game 7.
The talk of the next couple days will likely be the health of Brown, and rightfully so. However, if he’s at 100 percent, this upcoming series should be an exciting one, even though the top two stars for the Celts (Irving and Hayward) are unable to go.