Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/28/18
A date in the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Philadelphia 76ers awaits the winner of Saturday’s Game 7 clash between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.
Milwaukee (44-38) forced this decisive game with a 97-86 victory in Game 6 on Thursday night as the home team has won every contest in this series. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks, who are in a Game 7 for the first time since losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2010 postseason.
Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points apiece, with the latter picking up the scoring slack for Eric Bledsoe, who was held to nine on three-of-ten shooting. Milwaukee also held a 48-39 edge in rebounds and forced Boston into settling from the perimeter.
The Bucks are shooting 50.4 percent overall in this series and have outscored Boston by 12 points over the course of the six games, but the Celtics have accumulated a 115-81 edge in free throws made, a gap made bigger by Milwaukee shooting just 66.9 percent from the foul line compared to Boston’s 77.2 percent clip.
The Celtics (55-27) went ten of 36 from 3-point range Thursday night and shot a series-low 37.0 percent overall. Jayson Tatum scored 22 points and Terry Rozier added 16, but he needed 17 shots to reach that mark while adding seven rebounds and five assists.
Boston have been a far more efficient team at home in this series, averaging 108.3 points in their three wins compared to 93.3 per game in their three defeats in Milwaukee. The Celtics have also outscored the Bucks 47-22 in second-chance points at home and by a 63-39 count in points off turnovers.
This is the second straight year the Celtics are playing a Game 7, having eliminated the Washington Wizards at home in the conference semifinals.