Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Bucks broke from Celtics in double-digit Game 1 win

A second-round series between Boston and Milwaukee was characterized as a brutal chess match of two tough defensive squads, who lost their game a joint 8–1 against first-round playoff opponents.

The defending champion Bucks kept their end of the bargain in Game 1, leaving the Celtics looking for answers after a 101-89 loss.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, but only shot 9-for-25 from the field. Jure Holiday Double-Double with 25 points and 10 boards.

The story was not about Milwaukee’s offensive prowess. This was his defense.

The Bucks held the Celtics for 33 percent of the shooting, stunned stars Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown to shoot a combined 10-in-32 from the floor, forcing 18 turnovers and shot inside Boston’s three-point arc. limited the ability to create. TD Garden fans waited for a Celtics run that never came, maintaining a two-point lead for the second half.

Milwaukee proved their post-season mettle, taking Boston’s every punch and producing a counter-punch. He beat Green on the board, caught 50/50 balls and converted a bevy of points from turnovers.

Even as Antetokounmpo picked up his fourth foul with three minutes remaining in the third, the Celtics were unable to capitalize, and the Greens were unable to receive the many dubious calls that went against them.

It was clear that both the teams had plans for the stars in the game. Tatum, Brown and Antetokounmpo combined shot just 5-for-21 from the field in the first half. Closing the lane was another shared priority, with clubs shooting just 36 percent of the paint in the opening 24 minutes.

The Boston star pair combined for six points and six turnovers before combining on a trio of threes (two from Tatum, one from Brown) late in the second quarter. But the Bucks scored 11-3 to end the half with a 56-46 advantage.

The Celtics set the defensive tone, stripping Antetokounmpo into the basket on his first attempt and tripping him for a turnover. Rob Williams activated the first quarter charge, chipping in four points and five rebounds in the opening frame as C opened the middle to a six-point lead. But Milwaukee closed the quarter with a flurry, and then, there was a bunny: Wes Matthews made an uncontested layoff from an inbound play to give Milwaukee a 27-24 advantage.

Marcus Smart left the competition in the first half with a shoulder stinger and quad intussusception, but was able to play in the second half. Milwaukee was without All-Star Khris Middleton, who is not expected to play in this series due to an MCL sprain.

Game 2 is Tuesday night at TD Garden. Pregame coverage begins at 98.5 The Sports Hub at 6:30 p.m. with an opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Photos: Celtics battle Bucks in Game 1 of the 2022 playoff series

Sean Silver can be heard at 98.5 Sports Hub. Talk to him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.

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