Bucks vs Celtics: Game 1 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference semi-final, final score, key plays
Bucks @ Celtics: 101-89
Bucks @ Celtics: Headlines
- Giannis Antetokounmpo delivers masterclass with 24 points
- Jrue Holiday also key in Bucks win with 25 points
- Tatum takes a while to fire up for Boston but bags 21 points
- Game 2 back at the Garden on Tuesday night
Defending NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks started the Eastern Conference semi-final with a convincing win at Boston (101-89) on Sunday in the playoffs to regain home court advantage after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The series has just begun but the Bucks show of strength inspired by Giannis Antetokounmpo who looks solid on all fronts with a triple-double (24 pts, 13 rbds, 12 assists) will send a strong message to other teams.
The Bucks' performance was even more important given the absence of Khris Middleton, who is nursing a sprained ligament in his left knee and is not expected to make a comeback anytime soon.
Jrue Holiday stepped up and ended up as top scorer (25 pts, 10 rbds, 5 assists, 3 steals) on the night. "We had to beat them. We had to respond tonight, contain them as firmly as possible, make it as difficult as possible," summarized the games MVP Antetokounmpo.
A rude awakening for the Celtics after brushing Brooklyn aside in the first round.
Milwaukee call another time-out ...
Celtics fans have seen enough with the green clad supporters streaming out of the Garden kowing that Game 1 is Milwuakee's
Bucks lead by 14 with less than 2 minutes left. Giannis now on 24 points. Holiday on 25.
Bucks lead by 14 with just over three minutes left
Giannis bosses Boston
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) on the court against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter during game one of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at TD Garden.
Milwaukee call time out as they lead by 12
Bucks lead by 13 with five minutes left
Boston call another time-out but the outcome of Game 1 seems to be a formality at this point with the defending champions looking very solid tonight.
Giannis with an auto assist ....the Greek international has been devastating tonight as he fires off the board and slams home
Tatum fouls as he holds Matthwes on the ground
Just over 8 and a half minutes left for Boston to try and claw back a way into the game as Boston bag a two as once again the Bucks defence does an immaculate job with the lead now at 17
Portis shoots a sublime 3 and Boston call a time-out
Carter slots home his two free throws and Milwaukee lead by 12 as the clock ticks down
Giannis is back on the court as Williams fouls the Greek star.
Game 2 is coming up on Tuesday night
Giannis on 17 points for the Bucks, Tatum with 18 for Boston
The third quarter ends and Milwaukee hold an eight point lead
White makes the Celtics 14th triple of the night with the Bucks having netted 10
What a stat: With Giannis on court, Milwaukee are +17 and without the Greek star....-9 !
Boston call a time-out
Giannis fouls again and picks up his 4th of the night as Boston can claw back the deficit with two free throws. Tatum bags both ....Bucks lead by 6.
Boston pull the lead back to 6...
Giannis gets his third foul of the night as he barges White
Just over 4 minutes left in the quarter. Giannis under duress bags an incredible bucket and gets the foul. What a player !
Boston have been better since the restart but have been playing catch-up ever since the second part of the first quarter
What a play as Tatum weaves into the paint and just when it seemed that 2 points were on the board, Giannis makes an incredible block. That play epitomised the pattern of this game....
Bucks call a time-out
Smart is in the wars again, this time the player is holding his right knee after a bad fall
Better from Boston as Williams blocks well...Lopez plucks the ball and increases the Bucks lead to 11
Bucks lead by 8 in the 3rd
Williams looks okay to carry on after his tangle with Giannis.
Robert Williams has picked up an injury as Boston call a time-out
Milwaukee still lead by ten points.... Smart hits a 2 pointer as Frank Williams is poised to make an entrance
Tatum finds Williams who lobs for 2..... Boston looking like a different proposition in the third quarter.
Tatum with another fine three.... the no. 0 has found his grovve with his last few efforts of triples coming off
Smart tries a two and the ball just rolls off the rim...very much a synonym of how Celtics' game is going
Smart is back on the court which is excellent news for Celtics fans
9 turnovers a-piece for both teams as the Milwaukee defence has really knuckled down as the game moves on ...
Despite a nervy start with way too many turnovers, reigning champions Milwaukee have taken control of Game 1 at the Garden in Boston with local fans concerned about the injury sustained by Smart who left the court towards the end of the second quarter in some distress.
Jayson Tatum has yet to find his rhythm for Boston with Bucks star Giannis dominating with 13 points.
Half time at the Garden and the Bucks are in control
Giannis fouled again and the Greek international is very much the man making the difference tonight as Milwaukee will take a lead at the interval
This does not look good as Marcus Smart leaves the court holding is arm and seems to be in some distress. Smart was having a decent game too as the injury silences the Garden.
Tatum seems to have found his range now as he bags another three...
Grayson Allen with 9 points in this quarter
Boston pull it back to two points with the Ime Udoka time-out talk seemingly making a difference
Milwaukee have scored 14 points from their nine steals from Boston as Tatum secures his first triple of the day
Ime Udoka calls a time-out for Boston as Milwaukee are very much in control. Boston started well but have slipped since the 6th minute or so when the Bucks bagged ten points with no reply from the home side
Giannis is back on the court for Milwaukee as Brown and Tatum still really yet to cook.
Smart does well in finding Tatum who bags two points as the Bucks call another time out
Milwaukee give the ball away yet again (9th of the game) but still lead by a point
Tatum tries another three and his stats are 0/5 from the field so far today.
Second quarter underway as Bucks coach Budenholzer talks us through his time out and what message he conveyed to his players
Very much a 'quarter of two halves' as Boston dominated the early minutes and the Bucks time out seemed to have definitive impact as they run to a 10-0 just as the quarter ends.
Giannis with 8 points is delivering for Bucks as is Bobby Portis but Celtics fans can't say the say the same about Tatum who has yet to really shine today.
Bucks on an 8-0 run
Giannis silences the crowd as he feeds Portis who bags a triple and in the next play scores a two to pull the Bucks back into the game.
Bucks give the ball away for the seventh time tonight as Giannis hits a 2 to leave the margin between both teams to five points
We're back underway as Boston win the ball back yet again, sixth turn-over for the Celtics with the defense on point tonight.
Giannis with an earlier dunk
This was one of the first few points for the Bucks in the opening minutes of the game.
Boston on a 7-0 run and the Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer feels it's time to talk tactics with his men
Bucks call a time out
Things not gelling for Tatum as he misses a free throw but makes amends with a fine steal.
Tatum has been quiet so far this afternoon. Just one basket from the Celtics star so far.
Smart with two free throws and the green haired No. 36 knocks down both
Smart sporting green hair for Boston tonight in a tense opening as Tatum gets his first foul of the game. One if two passages of sloppy play with the ball being turned over once or twice in the opening minutes.
Boston win a turnover and bag the first three of the night ... Giannis replies straight away with a 2 pointer of his own with a spectacular dunk
The players take to the court ...last minute prayers from Tatum and we're all set
We're just seconds away from tip-off......
A round of boos ring out as the Bucks' starters are called out by the stadium MC.... Giannis in particular gets a louder boo from the partisan Celtics fans.
The players still warming up as tip-off is imminent.... A packed TD Garden with a healthy presence of Bucks fans in attendance also this afternoon. Michelle Brooks Thompson will sing the anthem ahead of Game 1 today.
Bucks starting V
Milwaukee Bucks will start today with Giannis, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis & Wesley Matthews
Boston starters confirmed
Boston Celtics will start today with Tatum, Brown, Smart, Horford and Williams
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum makes his way off the court after warming up before game one of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden.
All eyes on Tatum
Boston Celtics start the series as favourites in the East to secure a place in the NBA final as the inform team brushed aside Brooklyn Nets to confirm a 4-0 series sweep.
In what was billed as arguably the most competitive first round series in recent memory, the Celtics were simply too good on the defensive end to let the frightening Nets offense find any rhythm or flow.
Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart are the heartbeat of this Celtics side who are looking for their first championship win since the 2007-08 season.
Tatum averaged 29.5 points, 7.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game in the first round, making him a key part of Boston’s offensive production.
Suns still championship favourites
Despite struggling against the New Orleans Pelicans in the opening round of the playoffs, Monty Williams' Phoenix Suns are still considered as favorites to secure the NBA 2021-22 championship with Golden State and Boston second and third favorites respectively.
How will the Boston defense handle Giannis?
The biggest question ahead of the Series is will the Celtics handle Giannis Antetokounmpo in the same way that they did with Kevin Durant? While it’s not likely to be the case, as Antetokounmpo is quite frankly one of the most athletically gifted players in the league, expect things to get intense as the Celtics will certainly try to make life difficult for him.
How much will the Bucks miss Middleton?
With the loss of Khris Middleton in Game 2 of their series against the Bulls, the Bucks took a big blow to their offensive capacity, especially considering that he is not likely to play in the series at all. With that said the Bucks will of course be relying on their size advantage. There is 6′11′ Giannis Antetokounmpo, 7′ Brook Lopez and 6′10′ Bobby Portis. With the difference in size, Boston will have to find a way to make life uncomfortable for the Bucks and especially Giannis Antetokounmpo if they hope to advance.
'Us Versus Everybody'
Fans at the TD Garden today get a free Boston Celtics shirt with the motto: 'Us Versus Everybody' as the Celtics tap into their seige mentality narrative.
Given the impressive way they finished the regular season, Boston Celtics will be many people's favourites to secure the championship with Phoenix Suns failing to convince in some of their first round games against New Orleans with the absence of Booker a major problem for the team from Arizona.
That being said, star forward Jayson Tatum is well aware of the challenge they face. Tatum averaged 29.5 points, 7.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game in the first round, making him a key part of Boston’s offensive production. “They’re a bigger team, so it’s probably going to be a more physical match-up,” Tatum said. “They pose different challenges than Brooklyn does.”
Bucks @ Celtics: preview
All eyes will be on Boston this Sunday as the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks head there to start their Conference semi-final series against the Celtics. As mentioned Giannis and co. are the champs, but Boston is definitely better rested and of course will enjoy home court advantage. In terms of predictions, this one has got to be the hardest of all the match-ups to call. With both teams ending the season with an identical record of 51-31, as well as an even split in their four-game season series, it’s likely to be an intense affair. Interestingly, the Bucks rested their starters for the last game of the season which resulted in a loss to the Cavs and more importantly the loss of home court advantage.
Semi-finals start today
The Bucks-Celtics game starts the action on Sunday afternoon with the other game of the day taking place in Memphis as the Grizzlies face Golden State Warriors at 3:30 pm (ET)
Tip-off at the TD Garden is 1 pm (ET) / 1900 CEST
Hello and a warm welcome to our coverage of Eastern Conference Playoffs as reigning NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks travel to Boston for the first game of the series.