Al Horford and Jayson Tatum lead Celtics to huge Game 4 win to tie series with Bucks – CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics appeared to be heading for a 3-1 series hole against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night. But then Al Horford and Jayson Tatum took over in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics bring the series back to Boston at a 2-2 tie after a huge victory in Game 4.
Horford scored 16 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, while Tatum also scored 30 for the Celtics, who parted ways in Milwaukee with a 116-108 victory in Game 4 on Monday night. Horford’s 30 points are a new playoff career high. for the 35-year-old, who was from start to finish.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with 34 of 14 points on 32 shooting and 18 rebounds.
Boston beat Milwaukee 43-28 in the fourth quarter, shooting an absurd 84% in the frame, to steal the game and the momentum of the series. Tatum scored 14 of his points in the fourth, to go along with his 13 rebounds for the game.
For most of the night, it looked like Boston would go home facing elimination. The Celtics struggled to find an offensive rhythm and started the game just 5-for-15, missing several open looks and bunnies on the edge. They turned the ball over five times and gave up six offensive rebounds in the first frame, leading Milwaukee to seven points on turnovers and five second-chance points. The Bucks had a 25-18 lead after the first 12 minutes, mostly thanks to errors by the Celtics.
Horford kept Boston early and gave the Celtics their first lead of the game, 34-33 with a three at 6:41 into the second quarter. Horford hit his first four shots, including a pair of threes.
Boston really locked down defensively in the second quarter and took much better care of the ball, turning it over only once in frame. That turnover, of course, led to some easy runs in Milwaukee.
Marcus Smart hit a three to give Boston a 41-40 lead with 3:31 left in the half. But a few minutes later he made an errant pass that turned into a Pat Connaughton breakaway dunk. The Arlington native netted a three on Milwaukee’s next possession to tie the game at 45-45, and the Bucks led 48-47 at the break. Boston’s seven turnovers in the first half led to 11 points by the Bucks, who also had eight second-chance points on 10 offensive rebounds in halftime.
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Smart had another turnover early in the third quarter that turned into a strong jam from Giannis, putting the Bucks up 54-48. Antetokounmpo was hit with a surprising technical foul for mean aggressor Horford after the dunk. Milwaukee built a seven-point lead four minutes into the third, but Tatum scored five straight games for Boston (a third-chance layup and a three over Brook Lopez) to pull Boston 63-61 and force a time death of the Bucks with 7:01 in the quarter.
But Tatum missed his next three shots, and the Bucks got a big bucket from Lopez when he tipped a missed free throw from Antetokounmpo, putting Milwaukee up 73-65 with four minutes left in the quarter. Daniel Theis didn’t even jump for the rebound, allowing Lopez to score two easy runs. A few possessions later, Giannis missed a short shot by Theis and ran through the Boston defense for an easy hook shot, putting the Bucks up 76-65 and forcing Ime Udoka to call a timeout.
Antetokounmpo scored 13 points in the third quarter as the Bucks outscored the Celtics 32-26 in the quarter and led 80-73 going into the fourth. To make matters worse for Boston, Jaylen Brown committed his fifth foul late in the third.
But the Celtics woke up in the final frame, scoring seven straight to start the fourth. Horford must have remembered that dirty look from Giannis, because Al was on fire in the fourth. He capped off that run with an emphatic dunk from Giannis that leveled things at 80-80. Horford’s elbow caught Antetokounmpo on his way down, and he was rated a technical dead ball after the play. Holiday hit the technical free throw and Horford hit his freebie to make it an 81-81 game.
Horford had 10 of Boston’s first 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge three with 8:08 left to give the Celtics an 88-85 lead. He drained three more after the Bucks regained the lead to put Boston back on top 95-94, then was fouled with a hook. He hit the free throw for his 30th point of the game, which gave the Celtics a 98-94 advantage with just over five minutes remaining. He was passing the Bucks himself, 16-14, in the quarter at that time.
Then it’s Tatum’s turn to take over. He threw a big finish, had a driving layup and -1, then drained a three for an 8-0 personal run, with his triple putting the Celtics ahead 106-96 with 3:24 to go. . He capped a 14-2 run from Boston that sealed the victory.
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The series now returns to Boston tied at two games apiece. Game 5 takes place Wednesday night at TD Garden.