22 April, 2018
Thon Maker was spectacular with ferocious blocks and hitting three-pointers and Matthew Dellavedova was at his defensive best as the Milwaukee Bucks demolished the Boston Celtics 116-92 in game three of their National Basketball Association playoff series. The Celtics now hold a 2-1 first-round series lead, with the promise of more physical play by Milwaukee in Game 4 tomorrow. Khris Middleton led the team with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 points with six assists and they got plenty of help from their teammates as Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker each scored 17 points while Thon Maker chipped in with 14 points and five blocks.
Al Horford's 16 points led a malnourished group, with players like Morris (seven points, 2-for-8) low on the efficiency scale.
But the Celtics looked out of place during the first quarter, making just two of their 18 shot attempts and scoring only 12 points. Milwaukee will have an uphill battle, as even with Friday's win, Boston is 35-0 all-time when leading a 7 game series 2-0. Boston's last lead in the contest was at 5-4 with 9:11 to go in the opening quarter: they were outscored 23-7 in the rest of the opening stanza to trail by 15. Boston's Game 3 numbers failed to measure up: they hit only 40 percent from the floor and went eight of 24 from three point range.
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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown dropped 25 points combined (2-6 3PT), to go along with nine rebounds. Milwaukee started the game with a new lineup thanks to John Henson's back injury and Tony Snell's ineffectiveness, with Tyler Zeller and Malcolm Brogdon taking their places.
The game was so well in hand that the Bucks closed out the victory with Antetokounmpo on the bench for much of the fourth quarter with five fouls. It was clear that the Bucks were the more desperate team on both ends of the floor and they reaped the rewards for it, but Brad Stevens is a great coach and I think he'll have the Celtics ready to bounce back in this one. Odds for that game will soon be released at BetDSI Sportsbook; they figure to be similar to the Game 3 line. He finished with nine points, nine assists and five turnovers.
The Celtics had anticipated playing in Milwaukee would be tough. Until Boston shows they can slow Milwaukee's offense, you have to ride with the hosts here.