The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the peskier teams in the league, but the Celtics proved that they are the better team with a victory, 112-107.
After an ugly turnover immediately following the tipoff, the Celtics offense exploded. Isaiah Thomas was weaving in and out of Milwaukee's lengthy defenders as if they were frozen. Behind a hungry Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder, Boston jumped out to a quick lead. They were finding easy ways to score inside the arc and did a fine job containing most of the Bucks' scorers. Crowder forced Giannis Antetokounmpo to force shots; he finished with just 4 points at the half on 1-5 shooting. The Celtics jumped out to a double digit lead but the Bucks stayed in it with help off the bench from Michael Carter-Williams and Greg Monroe: two new bench-mates. At the half, the Celtics led 62-52 thanks to hefty scoring from Crowder and Johnson who combined for 27 points.
The surprising part about the Celtics lead was that they were struggling to hit shots from three point range. The team went 0-9 from three but somehow found ways to score inside and find the open man.
The third quarter was even prettier to watch. The Celtics took care of the ball and barely committed any turnovers. Isaiah Thomas took over the game with his electric offense despite his struggles from three. The entire team was working well together throughout the quarter as they extended the lead to 15 points at the end of the third. RJ Hunter logged his some minutes in the quarter but remained quiet. He missed his only shot attempt.
The fourth quarter was ugly. The Bucks kept slowly creeping up on Boston with their ability to score inside. They finished the game with 68 points in the paint. Middleton, Monroe, and Jabari Parker finished strong, leading Milwaukee to outsocre the Celtics 10 points in the fourth quarter, but their late game comeback wasn't enough to dethrone the Celtics.
All five starters played solid games all around...with the exception of the three ball which was not working out for anyone besides Crowder who went 2-3 from three. But that is what makes the Celtics so great. They had a hole in their game but were able to fix it with strong ball movement, hustle, and inside scoring.
Marcus Smart struggled in his minutes. He did not convert a field goal and got stuck in foul trouble early on.