Antitucum leads the Milwaukee Bucks to a thrilling victory over Boston in the NBA

Giannis Antetokumbu scored three double figures, leading the defending Bucks to a 101-89 victory over the Boston Celtics, at the start of their confrontation in the Eastern Conference semi-finals of the NBA, Sunday, May 1.

It was the Celtics’ first loss in the playoffs this year, as they beat the Brooklyn Nets 4-0 in the first round. The Celtics will seek to compensate in the second game on Tuesday, before visiting Milwaukee in the third and fourth games.

The hosts started the match well, and advanced 6-2 thanks to two three-pointers, but the Bucks equalized with six consecutive points from Gro Holiday. In the absence of injured Chris Middleton, Antetokumbu and Holiday knew they needed to give their best against the Celtics’ strong defense.

The Celtics regained their supremacy led by Marcus Smart and Jalen Brown to lead 22-14. But the Bucks rose to score 13 points, compared to only two for its host, to end the first quarter in its favor 27-24.

The Celtics equalized twice at the beginning of the second quarter, then advanced 32-31 despite Jason Tatum’s mediocre performance. The Bucks seemed to have studied the Celtics’ attacking moves well in the series against the Nets, and Brooke Lopez and Bobby Portes were outstanding in defence.

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The defending champion ended the first half with a 56-46 lead after Antetokumbu scored the team’s last ten points and six assists, while the Celtics failed to score in the last two minutes.

Titium regained his confidence, and the Celtics reduced the score to 59-54 in the first three minutes of the second half. But the Bucks quickly brought the difference back to 10 thanks to Holiday and Gerson Allen. Antetokumbu suffered a lot in the third quarter when Al Horford was the main defender in front of him.

The Greek waited eight minutes after the break to score the first two points of open play, and the Celtics reduced the score to 78-70 before the start of the fourth quarter. The Bucks began the fourth quarter by scoring nine points compared to two for the Celtics, to impose control over the match, while the Celtics suffered from Smart’s injury and left the field to receive treatment.

Holiday added a three-pointer to lead the Bucks 92-75, and Celtics coach Amy Udka asked for a time-out to try to save his team. But the Bucks managed to respond to all of the homeowner’s attempts to maintain their 14-point lead with two minutes remaining. Udka surrendered in the last two minutes and took out all the key players, for the Bucks to win their first victory.

Holiday topped the Bucks’ list of scorers with 25 points, while Antetokumbu added 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, in addition to 12 assists. Portes scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds, as Tatum was the Celtics with 21 points.

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