With an overwhelmed Giannis Antetokounmpo with 42 points and 13 rebounds, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 103-101 on Saturday and went 2-1 up in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The best-of-seven series continues in Milwaukee next Monday.
Boston led 50-46 at halftime, but the champion Bucks opened the third quarter on a 20-6 run to take a 66-56 lead, with Antetokounmpo producing nine points and four assists in that span.
The Greek began to pick up the pace and was at ease from now on and with 31 points and 12 rebounds so far, he took off his team on the scoreboard with an 80-67 lead at the end of the third quarter.
It was a fiery third quarter for the defending champions, who easily won it 34-17.
The Celtics rallied from a 14-point deficit to pull within 103-100 with 4.6 seconds left. They had stepped on the gas in the fourth quarter and got dangerously close to 97-95 on a layup by Al Horford with four minutes left.
Two minutes later the Celtics went ahead 100-99 thanks to two free throws by Jaylen Brown, but an basket by Antetokounmpo and another by Jrue Holiday with a few seconds left that gave the Bucks the lead again 103-100.
a dramatic ending
Antetokounmpo was without a doubt the offensive guide of the champions to take the victory. The Greek star blocked a layup attempt by Brown, leading to Holiday’s basket that made it 103-100 with 11.2 seconds remaining.
For the Bucks, they supported Antetokounmpo in the Holiday offense with 25 points and seven rebounds. The Cuban-American Brook López also shone with 13 points and 10 sacks under the boards and Pat Connaughton with 11 cartons and eight rebounds coming off the bench.
For the Boston quintet, the man with the goal was Brown with 27 points and 12 rebounds, followed by the Dominican Horford with 22 points and 16 balls recovered in the rebounding fight.
The Dominican also had an excellent performance in long distance shots with four triples made in seven attempts.
Boston star Jayson Tatum was held back by the defending champions as they finished with just 10 points, one rebound and three assists.