The Milwaukee Bucks stole home court advantage with a win in game-one of the eastern conference semifinals in Boston. The Celtics stole it back with a 116-108 win in game-four Monday night at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Veteran big man Al Horford scored 30 points on 11-14 shooting and the Celtics exploded for 43 fourth quarter points to overcome a seven-point deficit and earn an eight-point win.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 34 on (14-32) shooting to pace the Bucks.
“That’s the quarter, obviously. That goes without saying,” according to Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “Horford was good. He was good the entire game. He made several kinda big plays and big shots in the fourth quarter.”
Leading 48-47 at the half, the Bucks expanded their lead to seven heading into the final quarter.
With guard Jaylen Brown on the bench with five fouls, the Celtics connected on 12 of 14 field goal attempts over the final twelve minutes. Horford scored 14 in that span while Jayson Tatum added 12.
“The NBA is a lot about a two-man game. Those guys are in a good place,” Budenholzer added. “Horford is shooting it at a high-level. We gotta look at it. We’re constantly discussing and considering and trying to throw different looks.”
Including Giannis, five Bucks scored in double figures. Brook Lopez chipped in 17 and Jrue Holiday added 16 on a laborious shooting night (5-22). In his last two games, Holiday is just (15-52) from the field.
“You gotta make some tough baskets, and he’s a guy who can make a tough baskets,” said Budenholzer. “Give Boston credit. He’s just gotta keep fighting and he’ll find himself.”
Tied at two games apiece, the series moves back to Boston for game-five Wednesday night.
“This is a tough team, a great team. You’re gonna have to put them away,” said Bucks guard Wesley Matthews. “We’ve got our work cut out for us in game-five.”
“It’s the playoffs – that’s how it is. It’s two-two, we’re going back. It’s exciting,” added Budenholzer. “We’re looking forward to game-five going on the road. We’ve been there before.”
The result of the game means there will be a game-six played in Milwaukee Friday night.
- The Celtics played without starting center, Robert Williams (knee).
- The Bucks outscored the Celtics in the paint 52-48.
- The game featured 7 ties and 7 lead changes.
- The Bucks largest lead was 11 points; the Celtics largest lead was 10.
- The game was played in front of 17,505 fans at Fiserv Forum.