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Bucks took lead in Eastern Conference semifinals with win over Celtics

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 07-05-2019 08:07 IST | Created: 07-05-2019 07:15 IST
Bucks took lead in Eastern Conference semifinals with win over Celtics
The Bucks now lead the best-of-seven series three games to one. Milwaukee will look to cement its first trip to the conference finals since 2001 on Wednesday when it hosts Game 5. Image Credit: Flickr

George Hill scored nine points during Milwaukee's game-turning third quarter run -- one generated with likely NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo on the bench due to foul trouble -- and the Bucks took a commanding lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals by beating the host Boston Celtics 113-101 on Monday night. The Bucks now lead the best-of-seven series three games to one. Milwaukee will look to cement its first trip to the conference finals since 2001 on Wednesday when it hosts Game 5.

The Celtics will try to become just the 12th team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven set and the first since the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Bucks were clinging to a 59-58 lead when Antetokounmpo went to the bench after drawing his fourth foul with 8:18 left in the third quarter. A Marcus Morris free throw following the foul tied the game, and the Celtics took the lead at 62-59 on a 3-pointer by Al Horford.

Boston kept the Bucks at bay for the next few minutes before Ersan Ilyasova's put-back tied the game at 67-67 with 3:54 left. That began a quarter-ending 15-5 run for the Bucks, who took the lead for good on Hill's layup 29 seconds after Ilyasova's basket. Kylie Irving drained a free throw to cut the gap to one, but the Bucks scored the next nine points -- a run Hill began with a 3-pointer and ended with a bank shot -- to extend Milwaukee's lead to double digits for the first time.

Antetokounmpo returned for the fourth quarter and scored 17 of his game-high 39 points as the Bucks put the Celtics away. "The Greek Freak" also finished with 16 rebounds and four assists despite playing just 34 minutes. Hill scored 15 points while Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe each had 13 points for the Bucks. Pat Connaughton added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Morris (18 points, 14 rebounds), Jayson Tatum (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Kylie Irving (23 points, 10 assists) all had double-doubles for the Celtics, who led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter. Horford scored 20 points while Jaylen Brown added 16 points for Boston.


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