Celtics Fall Short in Game 3
Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (11) argues a call during the second half of Game 3 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks in Boston, Friday, May 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The Boston Celtics came home from Milwaukee to host the first seed Bucks Friday night.
Boston split the series with Milwaukee in the first two games, heading into Game Three tied at 1-1. The Celtics were looking to use the next two games at home to get an advantage over star Giannis Antetokounmpo and crew.
But things did not go as Brad Steven’s Celtics had planned, as they fell 123-116 to the Bucks. Boston’s starting lineup all had well over double-digit points, but it was a combined 16 points from their five players from the bench that truly hurt them.
Milwaukee took advantage of the calls in the paint, going to the line 36 times. From getting calls in the paint, the Celtics had to be careful under the rim, which allowed Antetokoumpo and his team to score 52 points in the paint compared to the Celtics 24.
The Celtics were severely hurt by Jaylen Brown’s foul trouble, causing him to only played a total of 31 minutes. But in his minutes he scored 18 points, grabbed five boards, and had two assists. Among his 18 points was yet another poster on Antetokoumpo, topping his dunk on the Greek Freak in Game One.
Boston was led by a 29 point performance from point guard Kyrie Irving, but an 8-22 night from the field will surely be one to forget for the All-Star. Jayson Tatum shot 7-14, 0-5 from beyond the arc with 20 points, Al Horford with 17 points, and Marcus Morris with 16.
It is clear that a Marcus Smart returns to the starting lineup is needed, as his defensive presence cannot be matched by anyone on the Celtics roster. With All-Star guard Khris Middleton having his way all over the court, Boston’s best defensive threat is needed sooner rather than later in this series.
The Celtics will all need to find their shooting form if they don’t want to fall 3-1 in the series on Monday night, with the tip-off at 7:00 p.m.