23 April, 2018
After losing a 20-point lead to Boston, the Bucks were determined not to lose another playoff game.
The young duo finally appeared to get their feet under them and handled the playoff intensity with aplomb, which will be a promising development for the Celtics when they return home for Game 5.
The young Aussie had five blocks off the bench - backing up the five he had in Game 3 - and contributed eight points and two rebounds in his 30 minutes off the bench.
Tatum was held to three points in the first half, but came alive during the final 24 minutes to finish the game with 21.
"He's the reason this series changed", All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters post-game. Middleton is averaging 26.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 62.7 percent. "It takes a ton of ability to bounce back and win the next possession and focus on the next possession, but I thought they got us off kilter, and we started again trying to swing for the fences".
In Game 4, the Milwaukee Bucks won what became a barn-burner against the Boston Celtics. They erased the deficit over the next quarter-and-a-half and seized a 100-99 lead on Jayson Tatum's jumper with 52.4 seconds remaining. Giannis Antetokounmpo spoiled the comeback attempt with a game-winning tip-in with 5.1 seconds remaining, which gave Milwaukee a 104-102 win.
From there, we talked about continued strong play from Thon Maker, Jabari Parker and Matthew Dellavedova, along with more consistent top-end contributions from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The Celtics had one more chance to tie the game following Antetokounmpo's tip-in, but Marcus Morris missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired.
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"It's a heck of play", head coach Joe Prunty said.
The Celtics have been great on the road, and knew that a game four victory would likely make this a quick series.
However, Terry Rozier struggled for the second straight game, going 3-12 from the field and 2-10 from three-point range. But with another half to play, the game was still anyone's to win. Al Horford tied the game up with a pair of free throws a few seconds later.
"We got the look we wanted ..."
Patty Mills had an equal-team high five assists as the San Antonio Spurs eased to a 103-90 win over the Golden State Warriors to avoid a clean sweep.
The Celtics got great production from almost everybody, especially players like Jayson Tatum (21 points on 7-16 shooting from the field) and Jaylen Brown (34 points on 13-24 shooting from the field), who thrive in isolation.
"It comes back to trust", Antetokounmpo said of his late-game highlights.
Brad Stevens was so impressed by Milwaukee's Game 3 performance, Saturday he called it the best performance by a team in this series.