Needing a win to avoid going down 2-0 heading to Boston with the season on the line, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, 123-102.
Coming off one of his worst performances of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo played an outstanding game 2. He led the Bucks with a game-High 29 points and 10 rebounds. It was his second game of these playoffs with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds and fifth such game of his career.
Giannis looked like a completely different player in game 2. He was aggressive and attacked the paint time and time again. The Celtics sent him to the free throw line 18 times. Antetokounmpo also looked to feed his teammates more when Boston collapsed on him inside, he was ready to kick out to the open man.
Needing to play with more effort was the theme coming out of the Milwaukee practice on Monday afternoon and The Greek Freak led the way.
Basketball is a game of runs. The Bucks went on their biggest run of the game to close out the third quarter. Milwaukee outscored Boston 24-4 over the final 7:41 of the third, which put the Celtics for the most part out of reach.
Milwaukee did this a lot during the regular season. They can pull away late in games because their effort is there for usually a full 48 minutes. The Celtics looked worn down late in the third. Boston made careless passes which led to turnovers and missed shots they normally take.
It all goes back to playing with effort and being themselves for the Bucks. They didn’t play hard enough in Game 1 according to every member of the team that talked about it. That wasn’t the case in Game 2.
This was the fourth game of the playoffs the Bucks have won by 20+ points. The 21-point victory also marked Milwaukee’s largest win in a Conference Semi-Final game since 1983, when they beat Boston 116-95.
Game 3 is set for Friday night at 8:00 pm (ET) in Boston. The game will be aired on ESPN.