The Milwaukee Bucks will look to close out the series when they host the Boston Celtics in Game 5 on Wednesday.
The Bucks hold a 3-1 lead after they won both the games in Boston. Milwaukee won Game 4 by a 113-101 scoreline, and that seems to be the decisive win. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the main man for them yet again. He had 39 points and 16 rebounds as he helped Milwaukee to close out the game. Boston led this game at half-time, but the Bucks bounced back in the second half. Antetokounmpo was 15 of 22 from the field, and the Celtics had no answer to his drives in the paint.
George Hill provided a useful push from the bench for Milwaukee with 15 points and five assists. Pat Connaughton also contributed from the bench with 9 points and ten rebounds. But Antetokounmpo was undoubtedly the star performer. Al Horford could not contain him in the paint, and neither could the likes of Marcus Morris and Aaron Baynes. The Bucks shot 44% from the floor, and the Celtics shot 37.8% in comparison.
After dropping falling behind 2-1 in the series, Game 4 was a must-win for the Celtics. They started well, but could not maintain that level in the second half. Poor shooting was the main reason for the loss. Boston took 41 three-pointers but shot just 22% from beyond the arc. Kyrie Irving had a sub-par game, and he couldn’t match Antetokounmpo in any regard. Irving was 7 of 22 from the field as he scored 23 points. He had ten assists as well, but the poor shooting hurt his side.
The Celtics starters played well, and each of them scored more than 16 points. But their bench was atrocious. Boston’s bench players scored just 7 points, and the same number was 32 for the Bucks. Gordon Hayward failed to get going, and he scored only 2 points despite playing 27 minutes. Boston’s players need to step up radically if they want to save their season.
The major obstacle they have to overcome is Antetokounmpo. He is averaging 30.5 points in the first four games of the series. Just like he did in the regular season, he is scoring freely in the paint. Brad Stevens will need to stop that if the Celtics want to keep the series alive. Forcing him to pass and be on the perimeter more would be a good tactic, but it’s easier said than done with Giannis.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Prediction
The Bucks are favorites to win Game 5 and progress to the conference finals. They did drop Game 1 at home, but a similar result seems unlikely at this stage. Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward need to step up for the Celtics if they hope to stay alive in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs. The Bucks look too good though, and they should get the job done at the Fiserv Forum in Game 5.
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