BOSTON (AP) – Bobby Portis parried Giannis Antetokounmpo’s missed throw 15 seconds to go, Holiday Guru beat Marcus Smart at the last Boston property and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Celtics 110-107 Wednesday night to take a 3-2 series lead.
Antetokounmue scored 40 points and 11 rebounds, and Holiday finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, and Portes added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the NBA champion Bucks.
Milwaukee has a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference semifinals in Game Six at home on Friday night. The Celtics need a win to seal the crucial seventh game in Boston on Sunday.
The Celtics led by 14 in the fourth quarter before the Bucks closed the gap, tying it to 105 on Holiday’s 3 Index with 43 seconds left. Jason Tatum, who scored 34 points in total, hit two free throws to give Boston the lead.
Antetokounmpo went to the line with a chance to tie and make the first, then Portis grabbed the rebound from the second and put it off the backboard to give Milwaukee his first lead since early in the second quarter.
Smart ran to the basket, but Holiday blocked him and ran out with the ball, and Smart threw it as it fell out of bounds. Pat Connaughton made a pair of free throws six seconds before the end of the game, then Holiday stole the ball from Smart in his desperate dash for a potential three-pointer for the game.
The have Bucks have won two of the three games in Boston to snatch the local stadium advantage.
Antetokounmpo had the best shooter in the series, scoring 16 against 27, but also had seven turnovers.
Jaylene Brown scored 26 points for Boston, 16 of them in the third — and 12 of those in the final four minutes of the quarter, when Boston converted a 71-68 advantage to lead by 12 points.
The Bucks scored nine of their first 11 points in the game, but Boston closed the gap midway through the quarter. The Celtics scored 11 consecutive points early in the second half, capped by stealing Marcus Smart, and threw Browns into an alley for Tatum that got the fans on their feet.
But the Bucks scored 17 of the next 24 points to make it 58-55 with nine minutes remaining in third.
The Celtics were without big man Robert Williams third for the second game in a row – and the fourth time this year after the season – due to soreness in his left knee. He was listed as questionable before being disqualified before the match.
Milwaukee was left without Khris Middleton, who did some work on the court while trying to come back off a twisted left knee. He has not played since April 20 in Game 2 of the first round series against the Bulls.
“He has done so little on the field and we are satisfied with where he is and we are optimistic,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “But it’s kind of the same update it’s been in the past few days”
Played Milwaukee guard George Hill (tummy ache).
Taco Fall, the 7-foot-6 former Celtic, took the match from the first row under the basket. The match was attended by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. …the Celtics scored only twice in the first half, to nine for the bucks. … Celtics divers, Daniel Theis and Derek White, made the first nine shots.
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