May 28, 2022

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Tatum’s 46 in ‘signature sport’ forces Sport 7

MILWAUKEE — Jayson Tatum wasn’t about to let it occur once more. Two nights prior, the Boston Celtics had a chief alternative to take management of the NBA playoffs semifinal sequence however let Sport 5 slip by means of their palms. That wasn’t the case on Friday.

Because the Milwaukee Bucks made a push within the fourth quarter, Tatum seemingly had a solution at each flip. Tatum scored 28 of his 46 factors within the second half, together with 16 within the fourth, as Boston held on for a 108-95 victory at Fiserv Discussion board.

“That is why he will get paid the massive bucks,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart stated. “That is it proper there. For moments like that. I used to be telling him the entire recreation, simply be you man. He was. That is what he will get paid to do. That is what we that is what we lean on him to do.”

The most effective-of-seven sequence is tied at three video games apiece. Sport 7 is in Boston on Sunday afternoon.

In Sport 5, the Celtics held a 14-point lead within the fourth quarter and had been up six with two minutes to play earlier than the Bucks snatched away a victory. On Friday night time, the Celtics once more held a 14-point lead within the fourth quarter however made positive to go away with a distinct end result.

Milwaukee reduce the result in as little as 4, however at any time when the Bucks had momentum going, the considered what occurred within the earlier recreation began to creep into the collective minds of the Celtics’ bench. Boston coach Ime Udoka stated he advised his group to not get stagnant within the fourth quarter as they did a recreation in the past and proceed to go on the assault.

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“We had the suitable resolve,” Udoka stated. “We talked about after that recreation. We let a possibility slip away however nonetheless had an opportunity to make it a greater story, I assume. We felt good going into it as a result of we performed so nicely for 3 and a half quarters.

“Everybody was pissed about that end result, however we knew how nicely we performed all through the sequence and let some issues slip away. However by no means any doubt or hangovers from that recreation. We put it to mattress the subsequent day and sit up for getting again to the Backyard.”

After the Bucks closed it to 85-81, Tatum responded with a midrange jumper because the shot clock ticked down off an out-of-bounds play. When Milwaukee answered with an acrobatic layup from Pat Connaughton, Tatum answered with a 3-pointer. Boston’s subsequent time down, Tatum confirmed off his footwork to hit a one-legged fadeaway.

With 5:40 left, he nailed one other deep trey to push the result in eight. And with 2:38 left, Tatum transformed an old style three-point play to place the sport out of attain. Tatum stated the collapse of Sport 5 was on the minds of all of the Celtics down the stretch.

“I feel simply form of how a lot it stung shedding that recreation like that,” Tatum stated. “All people had a nasty style of their mouth. Watching movie, studying from it. The eagerness. We had been upbeat. We weren’t defeated. Understanding that we nonetheless had a possibility to avoid wasting our season to return in right here and get a win. We believed that. We really did. We consider in one another and I feel it confirmed tonight.”

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Sensible performed an enormous function within the Sport 5 loss, getting blocked by Jrue Holiday and getting the ball stolen from him by Vacation within the remaining 10 seconds. He stated instantly following that recreation, he went to the apply facility to prepare for Sport 6.

“I will simply say tonight would be the first night time after that recreation that I will get some sleep,” Sensible stated. “I have not been some sleep but.”

Sensible began the sport like somebody who needed to overlook his final recreation as shortly as attainable as he had 14 factors within the opening body whereas capturing 4-of-6 from deep.

“I needed to come set the tone,” Sensible stated. “We go as I’m going. I am the guts and soul of the group. My teammates say that to me on a regular basis. I attempt to be that for them. The power that I deliver is contagious. I do know that. I attempt to deliver that each recreation.”

Jaylen Brown has been round for loads of large video games by Tatum, however he knew this one carried a bit bit extra weight.

“It was a big-time efficiency,” Brown stated. “Our backs are in opposition to the wall, too. You like to see JT come out aggressive and carry us offensively like he did forcing Sport 7. Undoubtedly a signature recreation for the Celtics and for Jayson.”

Tatum, Brown and Sensible mixed for 89 of Boston’s 108 factors as Brown went for 22 and Sensible had 21. The trio combining for 82.4% of the Celtics’ factors marked the second-highest proportion by a Boston trio in postseason historical past behind solely Dave Cowens, John Havlicek and Jo Jo White scoring 80 of 91 factors on April 20, 1973, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data analysis.

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After Al Horford was efficient in opposition to the Bucks earlier within the sequence, they’ve began to play him nearer on the perimeter, which has allowed the Celtics’ perimeter gamers to get going — one thing Milwaukee tried to cease earlier within the sequence.

“Al harm them early within the sequence, and so they tried to take that away, however it opens up different issues for different guys,” Udoka stated. “We all know we are able to make the most of these.”

With the win, the sequence heads again to Boston and TD Backyard. However possibly dwelling courtroom will not be such a bonus. The highway group has gained 4 of the six video games within the sequence, together with every of the previous three. Nonetheless, the sequence comes down to 1 very significant recreation, one thing the Celtics gamers cannot wait to be part of.

“I anticipate it to be loud. I anticipate it to be enjoyable. And I anticipate to be part of an awesome recreation. I am trying ahead to it,” Brown stated. “The most effective two phrases in basketball are Sport 7.”