NBA playoffs: Celtics' game-tying shot comes milliseconds too late as Bucks take 2-1 lead

·2 min read

The fourth quarter may have been more interesting than they wanted, especially the final seconds, but the Milwaukee Bucks have a 2-1 series lead.

The Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 103-101 on Saturday in Game 3 of their second-round series, holding off a furious Boston comeback in the final minutes that erased what had been a 14-point Milwaukee lead late in the third quarter.

The drama extended past the final buzzer, when a strategically missed Marcus Smart free throw gave the Celtics a chance at a game-tying 2-pointer. Al Horford got the ball in the basket after multiple Boston putback attempts, but only after the buzzer sounded.

After a review by the officials to confirm the shot was too late, the game was called.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, still playing without All-Star teammate Khris Middleton, continued to shoulder an impressive load, this time scoring 42 points on 16-of-30 shooting, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals. It was a monster night from a monster player.

The Celtics allowed the Bucks to open up a double-digit lead in the third quarter when an injury to starting center Robert Williams III and foul trouble for bench forward Grant Williams created an opening for Antetokounmpo to start bulldozing his way to the paint.

Boston recovered in the fourth quarter, taking a 100-99 lead at one point late in the game, but baskets from Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday, second on the Bucks with 25 points, pushed the Bucks to the Game 3 win.

Game 4 is scheduled for Monday in Milwaukee at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks past Boston Celtics' Payton Pritchard during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Giannis Antetokounmpo was unstoppable at times. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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