Despite a sleepy start and a stiff challenge early on from the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics won their regular season finale at home to clinch the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee scored 35 points in the first quarter, including a whopping 18 points in the paint. This was despite not even bringing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Tony Snell and Matthew Dellavedova to Boston. The Celtics normal defensive grit was nowhere to be found, as the Bucks got whatever looks they wanted.
As the game went along, things balanced out, as the Celtics looked like themselves and the Bucks backups looked like…well…backups. It was a balanced effort for Boston, with 16 points apiece from Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson. Isaiah Thomas scored 13 in just 22 minutes, as Brad Stevens chose to steal some in-game rest for a lot of his regulars. Gerald Green and Jaylen Brown scored 18 and 10 points respectively, including some big dunks as Boston pulled away late in the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee was led by 15 points apiece from Spencer Hawes and Michael Beasley. The Celtics held the Bucks to just 6-of-23 from behind the arc and only 44% despite Milwaukee’s hot start.
Both Boston and Milwaukee will move on the playoffs. The Celtics will host the eighth seeded Chicago Bulls, while the sixth seeded Bucks will travel to Toronto to face the third seeded Raptors.