Jayson Tatum, Celtics beat Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks in all-time duel to force decisive Game 7

Trending 1 week ago 9


Milwaukee vs. Boston deserves a Game 7.

And that’s what their Eastern Conference semifinal bid gets.

The Celtics defeated the Bucks 108-95 successful Game 6 connected Friday, forcing a series-deciding seventh game.

Game 7 is Sunday successful Boston (3:30 p.m. ET), and the victor volition play the Miami Heat successful the league finals. Both teams person won connected the road, but nary squad has won consecutive games successful this series. Boston volition person to bash conscionable that to get backmost to the league finals for the 2nd clip successful 3 seasons.

Putting distant the defending champs won’t beryllium casual either. But they person held much than their ain truthful far, winning an elimination crippled connected the roadworthy successful Game 6.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with a game-high 46 points. Marcus Smart added 21 points, and Jaylen Brown had 22 points. They had 89 of Boston’s 107 points.

Here are 5 cardinal takeaways from Game 6:

Tatum brings his A game

With the Celtics’ play connected the line, their champion subordinate had a large game, the benignant a blossoming superstar should person successful that circumstance.

Tatum scored 9 points successful the archetypal 4th and 9 successful the 2nd 4th and finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists successful the archetypal half.

In the 2nd half, helium had 28 points giving him an MVP-caliber stat line: 46 points (17-for-32 shooting), 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block.

In the 4th quarter, helium made 2 large shots arsenic the changeable timepiece was astir to expire — a baseline jumper giving Boston an 87-81 pb and a 3-pointer putting the Celtics up 90-83. It was portion of 11 consecutive Celtics points that were indispensable arsenic Milwaukee had chopped a double-digit shortage to 2 possessions successful the 4th quarter.

3-ball makes a difference

The Celtics had a 10-point halftime lead, and the 3-pointer was the main reason. Boston changeable 11-for-25 connected 3s, and the Bucks were conscionable 3-for-18 — a 24-point quality implicit 24 minutes.

Tatum made 7 3s, Smart 5 and Brown four. The Celtics’ blistery 3-point shooting cooled disconnected a spot successful the 2nd half, but they inactive made 17 and changeable 39.5% for the game. The Bucks made conscionable 7 3s astatine a 24.1% rate. That’s not going to triumph galore playoff games.

Antetokounmpo outstanding commencement to finish

Bucks prima Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 points successful the archetypal 7 minutes. Milwaukee missed its archetypal 5 shots, but Antetokounmpo scored the archetypal six points, going 6-for-6 connected escaped throws. He was assertive driving to the basket, drafting interaction and getting the whistle.

Then, helium started hitting shots — 4 successful a row.

He finished with 44 points, 20 rebounds, six assists, 2 blocks and a steal. He changeable 14-for-30 from the field, 2-for-3 connected 3-point attempts and connected connected 14-for-15 from the free-throw line.

It was his 3rd 40-point crippled of the bid and the archetypal 40-point, 20-rebound playoff crippled since Shaquille O’Neal did it successful 2001. That’s what MVPs do. But ...

Not capable assistance for Antetokounmpo

Midway done the 3rd quarter, Antetokounmpo had 23 points and Jrue Holiday 14, and not 1 different Buck had much than six points.

Obviously, the Bucks are missing Khris Middleton (sprained near knee) and his lack hurts offensively and defensively.

Pat Connaughton ended up with 14 points, the lone different Bucks subordinate with much than six points.

Grayson Allen misfired connected six of his 7 shots, including 4 missed 3s, and the Bucks were outscored by 29 points successful his 22 minutes connected the court. The Celtics besides outscored the Bucks by 22 points with Brook Lopez connected the floor.

Change successful officials

Veteran and respected NBA authoritative Scott Foster was scheduled to telephone Game 6 but was not disposable owed to a non-COVID related illness, according to the league.

Eric Lewis moved into the unit main role, Ben Taylor into the referee relation and Tre Maddox into the umpire role.

Follow Jeff Zillgitt connected Twitter @JeffZillgitt.