Celtics win to even series with Brown’s 30 points

During the Celtics’ series-opening loss to the Bucks, it appeared as though Jaylen Brown would never make a shot.

It appeared early in Game 2 that he would not miss.

Boston trounced Milwaukee 109-86 on Tuesday night to tie the Eastern Conference playoffs at one game apiece. Brown scored 25 of his 30 points in the first half.

“It’s the playoffs,” he says. “That’s all there is to it,” Brown concluded. “We can’t let one game determine the outcome of the series.” “From the start, we wanted to be aggressive.”

Brown rebounded from a poor shooting performance in Game 1 by going 9 for 10 in the first half, including 5 for 5 from beyond the arc. Jayson Tatum chipped in with 19 points and eight rebounds. Grant Williams had a total of 21 points. Al Horford led all scorers with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Brown remarked, “We wanted to come in and play like our season was on the line, and we did.”

The series will not resume until Game 3 in Milwaukee on Saturday.

Boston shot 20 of 43 from outside the arc and took advantage of 16 Milwaukee turnovers to score 24 points.

Ime Udoka, the Celtics’ coach, said, “We wanted to match their physicality and punch back tonight.” “One of the main messages was to show them who we are.”

That’s what they did.

Marcus Smart, the Celtics’ Defensive Player of the Year, was ruled out before the game due to a bruised right thigh he received in Game 1. Derrick White was inserted into the starting lineup, marking his first start in a playoff game since joining San Antonio in 2019.

“The ship has to keep moving forward.” “Everybody has to put in a little more effort,” Tatum added.

Even without Smart, the Celtics kept Giannis Antetokounmpo in check following his triple-double in Game 1 of the series, restricting him to 28 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Jrue Holiday chipped in with 19 points and seven rebounds. Bobby Portis had 13 points and eight rebounds in the win.

The Celtics scored the game’s first seven points while Smart sat on the sideline in street clothes, en route to an 18-3 advantage and prompting the Bucks to take a quick timeout.

During the run, Boston scored from a number of locations on the court, attacking both near the rim and within the paint. It also included 12 points from beyond the arc, a category in which the Celtics struggled for the majority of Game 1.

“Down there (in the paint), it’s not Wilt Chamberlain,” Udoka added. “We can assault as soon as we get downhill.”

Antetokounmpo missed his first six shots before slamming home a dunk with less than a minute remaining in the first period.

It didn’t stop Boston from taking a 32-21 lead into the second quarter, thanks to 17 points from Brown, a season-high for a quarter in the playoffs.

The Celtics continued to share the ball and forced Milwaukee’s defense to hunt them down, finally leading 65-40 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Bucks sliced into the Celtics’ 26-point lead. With 18 points in the first quarter, Antetokounmpo led the assault. Late in the third quarter, a 10-0 Milwaukee run, assisted by a more than five-minute Celtics scoring drought, cut Boston’s lead to 72-56.

Milwaukee kept chipping away, cutting the lead to 94-82 thanks to a pair of free throws from Antetokounmpo. But Tatum hit a 3-pointer, and Boston reclaimed the lead.

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