BOSTON, Mass. (WFRV) – Even on a night when so many things went against the Milwaukee Bucks, when the chips were stacked against the defending champs, they delivered.
Milwaukee erased a 14-point deficit in the second half and rallied from a Jaylen Brown barrage between the third and fourth quarters, pitching a defensive gem in the final minutes for a 110-107 victory in Game 5.
The Bucks now take a 3-2 series lead back to the Cream City for Game 6 Friday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the Bucks again with 40 points, drilled a three-pointer with 1:40 left to trim the Celtics’ lead to 105-102. A minute later, with the shot clock winding down, Jrue Holiday made up for an inconsistent offensive performance with a key triple to tie the game at 1:05.
Jayson Tatum made two free throws for Boston, and the Celtics put Antetokounmpo on the free-throw line with 14 seconds remaining. The two-time MVP made the first at the charity stripe, but when his second rimmed out, it was Bobby Portis grabbing his game-high 15th rebound of the game and putting up the go-ahead layup with 11 seconds left.
The Celtics had a chance to retake the lead, but Holiday blocked Marcus Smart’s layup and subsequently deflected the loose ball off Smart’s leg and out of bounds.
Pat Connaughton made the ensuing free throws and Holiday swiped one last steal for good measure before the final buzzer.
The Bucks now have a chance to close out the series and return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year.
According to WISN’s Dario Melendez, All-Star wing Khris Middleton could return from an MCL injury in time for Friday’s game.
A potential Game 7 would be Sunday in Boston.