Bucks edge Celtics to level National Basketball Association series, Spurs down Warriors

Bucks edge Celtics to level National Basketball Association series, Spurs down Warriors

Giannis Antetokounmpo tipped in Malcolm Brogdon's missed floater for the game-winning bucket with 5.1 seconds remaining as the host Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 104-102 in Game 4 Sunday to even the series at 2-2 at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 points with six assists and five rebounds. Middleton scored 23 points.

Boston Celtics' wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined to score the 2nd most points in a playoff game of any under-22 duo in National Basketball Association history.

The series - once led by the Celtics two games to none - is now tied at two games apiece as it heads back to Boston for game five on Tuesday night.

They couldn't send the game into overtime.

The Celtics began the contest with much more energy than they did in Game 3, setting a physical tone on defence while being the aggressors on the other end. This is such a big game that could go either way, but the Bucks' role players stepped up at home in Game 3 and I'm expecting more of the same in Game 4.

Any playoff loss will not be remembered fondly by the Celtics faithful, but Sunday's 104-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks should be. The Celtics have won four of the five previous playoff series between the teams and have an 18-12 edge in games won.

Moving forward, not only in this series, but in the years to come, the Celtics will be better off for having played in games like Game 4.

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Boston needs Al Horford to be more aggressive. Milwaukee leaned heavily on Thon Maker and while he was extremely efficient on offense, he will need to do a better job of protecting the rim.

"The Greek Freak" finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but he truly shined like an MVP candidate in a huge fourth quarter. While the Sixers could very well be the best team in the Eastern Conference right now, thanks in large part to how much fun they are to watch, the Bucks deserve some credit too.

The 40-year-old played in his 217th play-offs game to break a tie with Shaquille O'Neal for sixth in league history and passed Reggie Miller for third in career three-pointers in the post-season.

Boston being banged up caught up with them in Game 3 and it's possible the breakneck pace they were playing in the first two games took a toll as well.

Game 5 will be played in Cleveland on Wednesday, April 25.

However, outside of them, Boston had few answers on the offensive end, making their success - like Rozier's - essential to advancing to the next round. Stevens immediately walked down Boston's bench and called for Semi Ojeleye, who did not play a second during the first half.

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