The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics put on a playoff-worthy game in the Fiserv Forum, a battle of wills that featured 21 lead changes and nine ties. It was one of those classic games with big runs on both sides, which was eventually decided by a 127-121 margin.
Both teams showed up to play, with the Celtics’ roleplayers having big nights. Marcus Smart led Boston in scoring with 29 points and seven assists, while Daniel Theis had 22 big points. That helped Jaylen Brown a lot, and he had a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, the Bucks were just a little better in the final few minutes. After the Celtics got away with a foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo, which replays showed was a clear arm grab and not a block, Milwaukee stayed composed. Jrue Holiday, who finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, came up big in the closing minutes.
Of course, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a few things to do with the victory, as he had 29 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. There was no one on the Celtics squad who could match his physicality. It also helped that he shot 7 of 10 from the free throw line, and it’s worth noting that he’s hovering around 72% for the season, an improvement over 68.5% from 2020-21.
Khris Middleton also had a strong all-around game with 22 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
Fan favorite Bobby Portis also put on a good show in the Bucks’ last home game of the regular season. He finished with a game-best plus/minus of +28 and had 17 points and seven rebounds while shooting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.
The victory against Boston has serious implications for Milwaukee’s playoff seeding hopes. First, it prevented the Celtics from owning a tiebreaker in the season series. Since they’re both leaders of their divisions, if they finish with the same record, things will be decided by conference record. It’s a narrow margin, with the Bucks (32-18) holding a narrow lead against the Celtics (33-19).
I’m honestly not sure if getting that second seed is even a good thing for anyone, considering that it runs the risk of potentially seeing the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, but well hey, these teams will cross that bridge when it arrives.