The Milwaukee Bucks got off and running early in Game 3, as they raced out to a 27-12 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in a 116-92 victory over the Boston Celtics. Milwaukee picked up their first win and now trails two games to one in the best-of-seven first round series.
The Celtics hit just 2-of-19 shots in the opening period and compounded matters by committing eight of their 18 turnovers. It was only the fact that Boston hit 7-of-10 from the free throw line that kept them even remotely afloat in the first period.
For the game, the Celtics hit 40 percent of their shots overall and 8-of-24 from behind the arc. No Boston player had an overly strong offensive game, but Al Horford led the way with 16 points. Jayson Tatum scored 14 and Greg Monroe added 15 point and 12 rebounds off the bench,
The Bucks got the typical good games from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, as they scored 19 and 23 points respectively. But it was the role players who made the difference. With John Henson out while nursing back soreness, Thon Maker was pulled out of mothballs and delivered. He scored 14 points, while hitting 3-of-4 from downtown and also blocked five shots. In addition, Jabari Parker got the playing time he pined for and scored 17 points off the bench for Milwaukee.
In the increasingly tense point guard matchup, Eric Bledsoe backed up his chatter from this week with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Terry Rozier, who had owned the head-to-head in the first two games of the series, struggled big time. He committed his first turnover of the series in the game’s opening minutes and finished with five total giveaways. He also hit only 1-of-5 three-pointers on his way to a 2-for-7 night from the field.
While a blowout wasn’t expected, it was expected that the Bucks would have their best effort of the series to date. They came out on fire on both ends and finished shooting 57 percent from the field, while blocking 13 of Boston’s shots.
The Celtics will look to rebound in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST.