Boston’s TD Garden was rocking on Saturday night as the Boston Celtics took Game 7 in convincing fashion over the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-96, behind 26 points from each Al Horford and Terry Rozier III.
With the win, the Eastern Conference’s number two seeded Celtics will welcome the number three seeded Philadelphia 76ers to The Garden on Monday night for Game 1 of the semifinal matchup.
The #Celtics upcoming schedule against the 76ers:— 98.5 The Sports Hub (@985TheSportsHub) April 29, 2018
• G1: PHI @ BOS 4/30 @ 8:00 PM
• G2: PHI @ BOS 5/03 @ 8:30 PM
• G3: BOS @ PHI 5/05 TBD
• G4: BOS @ PHI 5/07 TBD
• G5: PHI @ BOS 5/09
TBD If Needed
• G6: BOS @ PHI 5/11
TBD If Needed
• G7: PHI at BOS 5/13
TBD @ Needed
This opening round series of the NBA Playoffs between the Celtics and Bucks boiled down to who held the home court advantage in the end, with the home team winning each game on their own court.
The Bucks almost took Game 1 in Boston, just as the Celtics almost took Game 4 Milwaukee, but neither team could knock off the home team in this first round matchup.
Here’s everything you needed to know heading into Game 7:
Boston is 19-4 all-time at home in Game 7s— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) April 28, 2018
Celtics By The Numbers - Round 1, Game 7 pic.twitter.com/H5YPRVdi9g
And after Game 7 against the Bucks:
Boston improves to 20-4 all-time when playing Game 7 at home (23-8 in Game 7 overall)— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) April 29, 2018
Each team started off the game by trading baskets at each end of the floor, but the C’s hit a wall for a while.
And when I say a wall, I mean a huge brick wall, as the Celtics went a good three and a half minutes without a field goal.
It wasn’t until Rozier III put back a Marcus Morris miss with 4:56 left in the first to end their scoring drought.
And here’s when the Celtics started to takeover the first quarter, as the Bucks held a 15-12 lead.
The Celtics regained the lead for the first time since the opening minutes as they took a 17-15 lead after five straight points from rookie Jayson Tatum.
And the C’s would continue to pile it onto the Bucks, as they rode a 20-2 run from Rozier’s drought-ending basket to the end of the quarter, to take a 30-17 lead into the second.
But not before Aron Baynes knocked down this buzzer-beater!
The Bucks opened up the second with a 13-2 run to cut the C’s lead to two. But the Celtics responded with an 11-0 run to pull ahead 41-30 with 5:30 left in the second.
Al Horford led the way with 14 of his team-high 26 points coming in the first half, as the Celtics lead the Bucks, 50-42, heading into halftime.
Boston worked to maintain their lead throughout the third, as the Bucks just couldn’t get it together at either end of the floor.
With the Bucks continuing to struggle, the C’s took a, 74-63, lead with 3:01 left in the third after Rozier III finished strong at the rim.
The Celtics kept their foot on the gas down the closing stretch of the third with Tatum knocking down a huge three with 1:04 left in the third, completing an 11-2 Celtics run, as they would take an 81-67 lead into the final quarter of Game 7.
“Scary Terry” came to life with 5:19 left in the fourth, as he’d go onto knock down back-to-back three to put the Celtics up by 19 at, 101-82.
In head coach Brad Stevens’ second Game 7 as the Celtics’ head coach, the C’s would finish off the Bucks, 112-96, in what turned out to be one helluva opening round series.
Horford finished the game as the C’s co-leading scorer with 26 points on 76.4 percent shooting from the field. In addition to eight rebounds, three assists and a block.
Call Of The Game: Terry Rozier Drops 26 In Celtics’ Game 7 Win
Rozier was sniffing a double-double as the Celtics’ other co-leading scorer with 26 points (5-8 3PT), six rebounds and nine assists.
Rising star Jaylen Brown left the game late in the second quarter with apparent leg injury.
#NEBHInjuryReport: Jaylen Brown has a sore right hamstring. He is testing it to see if he can return.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 29, 2018
#NEBHInjuryReport: Jaylen Brown is available to return to tonight's game.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 29, 2018
With Brown not returning to the floor, Tatum stepped up big time with 20 points (7-17 FG), six rebounds and five assists.
Marcus Smart finished the night with five points (2-7 FG), four rebounds, six assists, and three steals in 32 minutes.
And Marcus Morris finished with double-digit scoring for the sixth time in the series, with a 10-point, four-rebound night.
Khris Middleton led all Bucks scorers with 32 points (5-9 3PT). And Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 22 points (7-17 FG), nine rebounds and five assists.
The Celtics finished the game with their best shooting performance of the series with a smooth 53.6 percentage from the field. While the Bucks shot another solid 47.3 percent from the field.
With the Celtics hustling back on defense, the C’s held the Bucks to ZERO fast break points in the game.
And the Celtics out-rebounded the Bucks, 42-32, in Game 7, and 339-to-306 for the series.
UP NEXT: The #2 Boston Celtics (55-27/0-0) will welcome the #3 Philadelphia 76ers (52-30/0-0) to the TD Garden on Monday night for Game 1 of the Semifinals in the NBA Playoffs. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Click here for all Celtics content, including news, podcasts, feature stories, and more.