Jayson Tatum powers Celtics strong over Bucks to force Game 7

MILWAUKEE — Jayson Tatum scored 46 points, beating Giannis Antetokounmpo and ensuring there would not be another comeback from the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics defeated the defending champion 108-95 on Friday night to play a seventh game in their Eastern Conference to force semifinals.

The third straight win for a road team sets up a winner-takes-all game in Boston on Sunday. The winner travels to Miami to start an East Finals matchup with the top seeded Heat on Tuesday.

Boston showed its strength by rebounding two nights after a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter in a 110-107 home loss in Game 5. The Bucks tried to bounce back from being 14 points down in the closing stages, but this time Tatum kept the Celtics at the top and kept their season alive.

Antetokounmpo had 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. His 20 rebounds were one of his career highlights.

Jayson Tatum reacts during the Celtics' win over the Bucks.
Jayson Tatum reacts during the Celtics’ win over the Bucks.
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Jaylen Brown scored 22 and Marcus Smart 21 for the Celtics, who capitalized on their superiority from 3-point range. The Celtics were 17 of 43 and the Bucks 7 of 27 from across the arc.

Antetokounmpo tried to lead the Bucks to an unlikely second straight comeback.

Boston led 84-70 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and was leading 84-73 when officials ruled that Grant Williams had filed a charge for Antetokounmpo’s fifth foul. But the Bucks challenged the call and it was overturned on the replay, instead sending Antetokounmpo down the line with four fouls.

Jayson Tatum finished the game with 46 points.
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Antetokounmpo made both free throws to start an 8-0 run that put the Bucks back in the game. The Bucks cut the lead to 85-81 on Antetokounmpo’s 3-pointer with 8:42 left.

Tatum wouldn’t let the Bucks get any closer.

Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the Bucks' loss to the Celtics.
Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the Bucks’ loss to the Celtics.
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After that 8-0 sprint for Bucks, Tatum scored the Celtics’ next 11 points. That included a fadeaway jumper when the shot clock ran out to bring the lead back to six plus a couple of 3-pointers.

Tatum and Brown each hit a 3-pointer during an 8-0 sprint that ended with Smart’s Jumper making it 100-87 with 4-20 remaining.

Boston maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Jayson Tatum powers Celtics strong over Bucks to force Game 7


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