The Boston Celtics obliterated the Milwaukee Bucks last night, beating the rivals for the top spot in the East by a margin of 41 points, 140-99. The Bucks were solid favorites before this event, but in the end, we saw their counterparts dominating Fiserv Forum’s floor while on the other side, emptying the stands pretty fast.
From what we witnessed in this one, the Bucks simply couldn’t follow the Cs’ pace, with the guests taking over the control of the court right away. This was a message to all the conference rivals, especially the Bucks, that the Cs still consider themselves the top favorites for the title.
“We got a lot of history with them,” Tatum said, admitting that night like this probably won’t repeat in the playoffs. “Very familiar with them. Tonight, we shot the ball well, they didn’t shoot it well. If we play them again in the postseason, it won’t be like this.”
Tatum was unstoppable with 40 points, hitting eight of his ten threes, while shooting 12-for-18 from the field, adding eight boards. On the other side, Jaylen Brown had 30 points with five assists and rebounds, while Al Horford and Malcolm Brogdon both had 14 buckets.
Boston’s three-point percentage was superb, with the guests hitting 22 of 43 attempts or 51.2%. Also, they completely outrebounded the rivals, having 17 boards more, 47-30, and the outcome is predictable once that happens in games like this one.
This was a massive morale-booster for the Cs, who lost the previous game in Washington against the Wizards, thus decreasing their chances of reaching the top spot in the East. After the last night’s victory, they are two victories behind the Bucks with five games to go.
The Bucks had only Giannis, with 24 points and seven boards in 25 minutes. Though, the MVP candidate made 27 field goal attempts, hitting only 11. Jrue Holiday, who had a 51-point performance against the Pacers, ended the night with just six buckets and six boards, while Khris Middleton scored 13 points.
“If you’re not focused and you don’t play hard, they are going to kick our (butt). Simple as that. There is no level of concern. It’s a fact,” stated Giannis, who wasn’t that frustrated following the event.
There was no aggressiveness in Milwaukee’s game, which is why they only forced 13 free throws. Also, their shooting percentage was low, 37.6% FG.
The Bucks had scored 100+ points in 33 straight games entering tonight.
The Celtics held them to 99 points. pic.twitter.com/IBmo0joCKi
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 31, 2023
His Bucks are the league-leading unit and look more than capable of winning the championship once again. Since the New Year, Milwaukee’s form has improved sharply and we’ve seen them creating double-digit winning streaks, eventually pushing them up in the standings.
The Bucks next await the Philadelphia 76ers, another contender in the East. Giannis will have a direct clash with Joel Embiid, his rival in the NBA MVP award race. After that, Milwaukee heads for Washington before awaiting the Bulls and the Grizzlies and end the season in Toronto against the Raptors.
As for the Celtics, they host the Jazz, then visit the 76ers, and close the season with a three-game homestand against the Raptors in back-to-back clashes and the Hawks. From this perspective, it appears that the loss in DC might have massive implications on the playoff order. If Cs won that one, they would have realistic chances of winning the top spot and securing the home-court edge throughout the entire postseason.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.