Celtics outlast Bucks to win National Basketball Association playoff opener in OT

Celtics outlast Bucks to win National Basketball Association playoff opener in OT

Antetokounmpo and Middleton were the first pair of Bucks teammates to score 30 apiece in a playoff game since Bob Dandridge and Brian Winters did so in 1976.

Al Horford led the Celtics with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds with four dimes, three blocks, and two steals; Rozier added 23 points, four boards, and three assists, while Jaylen Brown chipped in with 20 points.

Sure, keeping Antetokounmpo contained will give the Celtics a good chance of advancing to the second round of the playoffs, but the Bucks have other dangermen in Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton which Boston must consider.

Incredibly, Khris Middleton took the inbounds pass and heaved a wing and a prayer from the right side, hitting the tying shot with no time left on the clock. The two teams split their four matchups this season.

"I know the IN game when I first hurt it, it felt like there was a knot IN the ball", Smart said. Rozier grabbed the rebound of the second miss with Antetokounmpo came flying in to rip the ball away with one official calling a jump, but another overruling that it was a loose-ball foul and Antetokounmpo's sixth of the game.

Up 70-66 entering the fourth quarter, Boston took a double-digit lead at 86-76 on Morris' putback dunk with 4:27 remaining. However, Smart said he might be able to return for a potential Game 7 against Milwaukee.

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Smart has been one of Boston's more versatile players this season, showing the ability to defend multiple positions in addition to coming up with big plays in the clutch.

He wound up winning it in overtime from the foul line instead.

Middleton hit a desperation 3-pointer from near mid-court as time expired to send it to overtime.

Bucks: Outscored the Celtics 58-44 in the paint.

Already without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics also began their playoff push without defensive centerpiece Marcus Smart (right thumb surgery).

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