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Tatum’s huge effort helps Celtics win 108-95 to force Game 7 – Boston News, Weather, Sports

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 46 points, bested Giannis Antetokounmpo and ensured there would be no other comeback from the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics defeated the defending champion 108-95 on Friday night, to a seventh game to force their Eastern Conference semifinals.

The third straight win for a road team sets up a winner-takes-all game in Boston on Sunday. The winner travels to Miami to start an East Finals matchup with the top seeded Heat on Tuesday.

Boston showed its strength by bouncing back two nights after squandering a 14-point lead in a 110-107 home loss in Game 5 in the fourth quarter. The Bucks tried to bounce back from being 14 points down in the closing stages, but this time Tatum kept the Celtics at the top and kept their season alive.

Antetokounmpo had 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. His 20 rebounds were one of his career highlights.

Jaylen Brown scored 22 and Marcus Smart 21 for the Celtics, who capitalized on their superiority from 3-point range. The Celtics were 17 of 43 and the Bucks 7 of 27 from across the arc.

Antetokounmpo tried to lead the Bucks to an unlikely second straight comeback.

Boston led 84-70 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and was leading 84-73 when officials ruled that Grant Williams had filed a charge for Antetokounmpo’s fifth foul. But the Bucks challenged the call and it was overturned on the replay, instead sending Antetokounmpo down the line with four fouls.

Antetokounmpo made both free throws to start an 8-0 run that put the Bucks back in the game. The Bucks cut the lead to 85-81 on Antetokounmpo’s 3-pointer with 8:42 left.

Tatum wouldn’t let the Bucks get any closer.

After that 8-0 sprint for Bucks, Tatum scored the Celtics’ next 11 points. That included a fadeaway jumper when the shot clock ran out to bring the lead back to six plus a couple of 3-pointers.

Tatum and Brown each hit a 3-pointer during an 8-0 sprint that ended with Smart’s Jumper making it 100-87 with 4-20 remaining.

Boston maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

MISSING PLAYERS

The Celtics played without forward/center Robert Williams for the third straight season.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Williams suffered a bruised left knee in a Game 3 clash with Antetokounmpo.

Milwaukee was missing three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton for the ninth straight year. Middleton sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in Game 2 of the Bucks’ first-round series against the Chicago Bulls.

TIP INS

Celtics: Tatum has at least 30 points in three straight games. … After totaling 5 of 27 on 3-point attempts in games 3-5, Tatum was 7 of 15 on Friday. … The Celtics were 10-of-17 from 3-point range in the first 14 1/2 minutes of the game.

Bucks: A minute’s silence was held before the game in honor of the Hall of Famers Bob Lanier, who died on Tuesday at the age of 73. Lanier played for the Bucks from 1980-84, and his No. 16 jersey hangs from the rafters of the Fiserv Forum. … An estimated 10,000 fans filled the Deer District outside of the Fiserv Forum.

CREW CHIEF CHANGE

Scott Foster, the proposed crew chief for Game 6, was unable to officiate due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19. Eric Lewis took on the role of crew chief, Ben Taylor acted as umpire and Tre Maddox as umpire.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/news/tatums-huge-effort-helps-celtics-win-108-95-to-force-game-7/ Tatum’s huge effort helps Celtics win 108-95 to force Game 7 – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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