Celtics 113, Bucks 107, OT: Boston outlasts Milwaukee for Game 1 win

Wizards coach Scott Brooks

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He'll likely be guarded by Horford, who defended him on 94 of 223 possessions in the regular season. I'll lay the bucket with the home team yet again. And if not for this Khris Middleton buzzer-beater, they would've taken the game in regulation.

And just maybe, Bledsoe will have his hands full.

The Bucks led 47-44 at halftime. His playing time jumped as the result of a season-ending hamstring injury suffered by Avery Bradley in Game 1 of the first-round series against Atlanta. Yes, the Bucks can clean up the 20 turnovers and certainly defend the three-ball better, but that's a game the Bucks should still win. Milwaukee is below average on the boards as they are 30 with 39.8 rebounds per game. Nonetheless, the Bucks have failed to stand behind that, and it has cost them. He did handle the unexpected minutes well, however, averaging 13.9 points, 1.6 assists and five rebounds over 15.29 minutes per game.

Bucks forward Khris Middleton answered with a 35-foot, game-tying three that sent the game to overtime.

IN was in control from the outset, opening a 21-point lead in the first quarter and leading by 23 in the third.

If nothing else, the Boston Celtics have been adaptable this season.

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Boston salted the win at the line after that. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one. And Middleton finished right behind him with 31 points on 60 percent shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from three.

Horford led all Celtics scorers with a 24-point (13-14 FT), 12-rebound double-double, in addition to four assists, two steals and three blocks.

"He's a great player", Horford said.

Tatum finished the half with a team-leading 10 points (4-8 FG) and Horford was getting into the action with eight points (3-3 FG) and five boards.

Terry Rozier, starting in place of injured Kyrie Irving, added 23 points, Marcus Morris scored 21 off the bench while Jaylen Brown netted 20 and Jayson Tatum contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Gordon Hayward, who fractured and dislocated his ankle in the opener, has been officially ruled out for the rest of the season and the playoffs by coach Brad Stevens. Boston is tied for 6 in three pointers per game with 11.7 per night while the team is 2 in three point percentage as they hit 37.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Celtics are good at defense and not all that good at offense, and the Bucks are the opposite, although their offense is not as dominant as the Celtics' defense is. The Raptors are too deep and talented while the 76ers just disemboweled them by 35 points without Joel Embiid.

"We're on track for [a return in the] next three weeks, possibly Game 7 of the first round, [but] definitely second round". With both Irving and Smart sidelined, the C's have a tough task ahead of them.

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