Celtics fall flat in Game 3 rout in Milwaukee

Jabari Parker

A 116-92 beatdown in game three proved that.

The Milwaukee Bucks dominated the Boston Celtics in just about every facet during their 116-92 win in Game 3 of their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series Friday night.

After a nail biting overtime win in Game 1, and a blowout win in Game 2, the Celtics came into the Bradley Center with a ton of momentum and a 2-0 series lead in the NBA Playoffs.

And then, if Milwaukee gets all that or something close to it in Game 4, it will hope that someone, anyone, can offer the boosts Dellavedova and Maker brought in this one. "They had it going. and we really didn't have an answer for them tonight".

That was probably as solid a forecast of the first two quarters as the Celtics could have gotten.

They haven't been much better in the playoffs, connecting on just 45.1 percent of their shots which ranks ninth among the 16 teams in the playoffs. While Parker played only 25 minutes combined in Games 1 and 2 for a reason, he also played 30 minutes in Game 3 for a reason.

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They returned to their careless ways from the second quarter of Game 1, except that that malady continued through the game last night with 18 turnovers, converted by the Bucks for 20 points. The problem for the Celtics is that since Al Horford is on Giannis, Aron Baynes has to stick with Maker. He scored 14 points, hit three of his four 3-point attempts, grabbed five rebounds and blocked five shots in 24-plus impactful minutes off the bench. He also had nine assists, but after getting the best of Eric Bledsoe in the first two games, it was the Milwaukee guard with the edge on Friday night.

Milwaukee, after failing to show much defensive presence in the opening two games of the series on the road, regrouped at home and guaranteed that this series would be going back to Boston.

Smart said prior to Game 2 that he was hoping to beat the April 27 timetable for a return from thumb ligament surgery. The Celtics won the first two games of the series, and they've never lost in the playoffs after doing so on 35 prior occasions. The fiery Bucks set the tone and maintained their palpably high-level of intensity throughout the game. "Defensively I didn't think we were great, but offensively we were horrendous in the first". They made nearly 40 percent of their 3-pointers in Boston - they just didn't take enough of them. Milwaukee shot 57.7 percent and hit 16 3-pointers while three other players scored in double figures. Khris Middleton led an actual balanced scoring attack for the Bucks with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

It means Bledsoe, with 17 points and four assists, staying on the right side of his matchup with Rozier, the Celtics point guard he had dissed with a "Who's that?" remark after Game 2. John Henson was ruled out with back soreness.

Milwaukee's aggressive, switchy defense forced Boston into a lot of ugly shots and turnovers to start the game.

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